Alex Rodriguez is expected to receive some sort of extensive suspension when Major League Baseball hands down punishment stemming from its Biogenesis investigation.
Until then, though, he will attempt to play ball.
A-Rod has two items on his agenda today: work out in Trenton, then join the New York Yankees, who open a series against the White Sox on Monday.
“I’m flying to Chicago,” he said of his immediate plans after playing in his final rehab game with the Yankees’ Trenton affiliate Saturday night in Reading, Pa.
ESPN reports that A-Rod is likely to be given a suspension that will span the rest of this season and all of 2014. Up to 12 other players also are expected to be suspended. A-Rod, ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor reports, is expected to fight the suspension in arbitration, turning down MLB’s offer to drop a lifetime ban in exchange for allowing an arbitrator to charge him with more than a 50-game suspension, the standard for a first-time offender. A-Rod, who has never failed a drug test, “”unequivocally” turned that down, a source told O’Connor.
During any appeal, MLB would be unlikely to allow A-Rod to play, with Commissioner Bud Selig using his power to act in the best interests of the game. That would most likely to cause Rodriguez to file a grievance.
After suggesting there was a conspiracy against him in a press conference Friday night, A-Rod professed a day later that his focus was elsewhere in a press conference in which he seemed both oblivious and defiant.
“I’ve been on the field for the last 5 1/2 hours, I haven’t heard anything. My focus is to play baseball. I was excited to be playing tonight and even more excited about Monday,” said Rodriguez, who has yet to play for the big-league club after undergoing hip surgery in January. “I can’t wait to see my teammates. I feel like I can help us win and be a better team and I haven’t seen a lot of my brothers in a long time.”