Via Larry Brown Sports:
Major League Baseball may have enough evidence against Alex Rodriguez in the latest performance-enhancing drug scandal that the New York Yankees slugger is looking to cop a plea deal. According to the NY Daily News, Rodriguez’s lawyers and MLB are having internal discussions about coming to an agreement on a 150-game suspension.
MLB’s policy on PED use would call for A-Rod to be suspended for 100 games as a repeat offender. However, the extent of Rodriguez’s involvement with Anthony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic could be damning enough that the league would be seeking a lifetime ban, which would make a 150-game suspension an enticing middle ground for A-Rod.
A-Rod drew criticism for unexpectedly missing a rehab game on Friday night, but the NY Daily News is reporting that he and his lawyers met with MLB officials for more than four hours prior to the game, during which the league outlined its case against him.
According to another source, Rodriguez’s meeting with MLB ended at about 4 p.m., and a clearly shaken Rodriguez then met with MLB Players Association reps for an hour and a half to discuss what had been outlined by MLB officials. When Rodriguez didn’t show up at the Yankee complex, GM Brian Cashman then tried to reach the three-time AL MVP, who told him that he ‘just couldn’t make it.’ …
‘I can see a scenario where if they’ve got multiple offenses (against A-Rod) that rather than going for his career with an arbitrator, baseball might settle on something like 150 games,’ said one of the sources.”
On Saturday night, a spokesperson for Rodriguez told the Daily News that “nobody from Alex’s team has made any such comments” about a plea deal resulting in a 150-game suspension. A-Rod is believed to have acquired several drugs from Bosch including testosterone creams and other forms of human growth hormone.
[Related: Ryan Braun reportedly refused to answer questions about Biogenesis]
If A-Rod is indeed suspended for 150 games or more, he would be out of baseball at the MLB level for two full years. There has been speculation that he is trying to return to the Yankees so he can collect the remainder of the $114 million the team owes him. Some also feel that the Yankees are trying to prove he is physically unable to continue his career, which would result in an insurance policy paying 80% of the remainder of his contract.
Rather than accept a 150-game suspension, why wouldn’t A-Rod just retire? Again, this is likely an issue of money. If Rodriguez accepts a penalty of that magnitude, it is essentially an admission of guilt. His reputation would already be destroyed more than it is, so he might be inclined to just wait out the suspension and figure out a way to collect his money. If he retires because of a suspension and not injury or is given a lifetime ban from baseball, he would not be entitled to the remainder of his money.