Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/1/13
Major League Baseball officials seeking to put the Biogenesis scandal behind them have offered 50-game suspensions to eight of the nine players facing discipline this week while continuing efforts to hammer out a deal with Alex Rodriguez that would prevent the steroid-stained slugger from ever returning to the field sources told the Daily News. Officials from MLB union leaders and attorneys for the players linked to the South Florida anti-aging clinic engaged in talks all day Wednesday in an effort to bring closure to baseball’s latest doping scandal so everyone involved can start the 2014 season fresh. “They want to get it all behind them so they can have a nice clean season next year” the source said. Another source said the 50-game suspensions were designed to entice the players to immediately accept the discipline without litigation or arbitration. MLB investigators dug up evidence that warranted stiffer penalties. “They have sufficient evidence to go before the arbitrator but because they are all first-time offenders they wanted to give them the opportunity to put this behind them like (Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan) Braun and still be able to play this year” the second source said. It was hoped that agreements with the players could be reached by Friday — and certainly no later than Sunday — because for most teams there would be no more than 50 games left in the season and clubs would want players eligible for the postseason. Several players tied to the Coral Gables clinic are on playoff-contending teams including Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz would be eligible for postseason rosters if they agree to begin the suspensions immediately instead of challenging them before arbitrator Frederic Horowitz. Baseball investigators have uncovered overwhelming evidence that Rodriguez violated the joint drug program sources have told the Daily News which would warrant a lifetime ban from the game. MLB officials have also gathered evidence that suggests Rodriguez attempted to interfere with their investigation into the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic by intimidating witnesses and purchasing incriminating documents. A lifetime ban could ultimately be overturned by an arbitrator however and a suspension of 200 games or more would most likely help MLB officials achieve their goal of preventing A-Rod from ever returning to the big leagues anyway. Rodriguez — who has missed the entire 2013 season after hip surgery in January — would miss the rest of this year and the entire 2014 season if he was suspended for 200 or more games. The aging infielder turned 38 years old last week and a comeback in 2015 would be highly unlikely since he would be pushing 40 and sidelined for two full seasons at that point. It is unclear if Rodriguez and his advisers would agree to a ban of 200 or more games and A-Rod attorney David Cornwell told ESPN Radio this week that he was focusing on preparing an appeal. But if Rodriguez agreed not to fight the suspension he would still be entitled to the $61 million he is owed for the 2015-2017 seasons. He would not receive any of that money if he was banned for life.
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