It appears that Alex Rodriguez will have the opportunity to return and play for the New York Yankees even after a suspension is handed down Monday from Major League Baseball and will continue to do so until a ruling is reached on whatever appeal he files.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Rodriguez will be able to play Monday night against the Chicago White Sox after rejoining the team from his rehab stint. This is possible because it looks as though commissioner Bud Selig will suspend A-Rod and not use the now infamous "best interests" clause to stop A-Rod from taking the field.
#yankees have been told A-Rod will be suspended tomorrow. if he appeals, he can play.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 4, 2013
Heyman also explains why MLB chose to go in this direction:
no shock Selig wont invoke "best interests" clause to bench A-Rod. MLB appreciates union cooperation to get drugs out.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 4, 2013
Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, Selig could have stopped A-Rod from taking the field had he invoked this clause, but he won't do so because of the potential for a lawsuit to be filed by Rodriguez and a grievance that will also be filed by the Major League Baseball Players Association in response to such an action.
Rodriguez, 38, plans to file an appeal that will be heard within three weeks by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Selig could invoke his powers as commissioner to keep Rodriguez from playing until the appeal is heard, but that could prompt Rodriguez to file a lawsuit against the league and the players union to submit a grievance.
So that means Rodriguez will undoubtedly be in the lineup Monday night against the White Sox and could continue to play with the Yankees until his appeal is heard and finished.
Scott Miller of CBS Sports has already reported that manager Joe Girardi plans to start A-Rod if he is ready and able to play in the series opener against Chicago:
I think all of us are curious as to what's going to happen. Is Alex going to be a player for us tomorrow, what's going to happen with the other guys.
In my mind, I have him penciled in tomorrow.
According to Nightengale's report, that could be in about three weeks time, and if A-Rod were to lose the appeal, he will likely be facing a 214-game ban that will keep him out for the remainder of this season and all of next season.
That will keep A-Rod out until 2015 when he will turn 40 in July of that season, and he won't get a single cent in all the time he misses. However, he will continue to collect his paycheck as long as the appeal process is taking place.
But that's not going to happen right away, and the Yankees will now have the embattled slugger right in their face along with the media circus that follows him wherever he goes.
It's about to get a lot more crazy in the Yankees Universe come Monday. It looks as though A-Rod was right, and he will be flying to the Windy City to join the rest of his teammates. That will surely induce one big headache for all of those involved.