Alex Rodriguez will be suspended Monday, likely through the end of the 2014 season, sources told “Outside the Lines” Saturday.
About 12 other players will also be suspended Monday, according to sources.
Several sources familiar with the talks said tense deliberations between Rodriguez and commissioner Bud Selig’s office broke down completely Saturday after Selig told officials he would no longer negotiate.
One source told OTL that MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner called MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred on Saturday asking for a meeting between the union, MLB, the Yankees and Rodriguez’s camp, but MLB refused.
MLB has said repeatedly that the Yankees have no place in negotiations and that discipline was the domain of Selig and no one else, a source said. Several sources also said that Selig was “furious” with Rodriguez for telling reporters he would not negotiate, even as his attorneys sought a deal to mitigate MLB’s looming punishment.
Previous reports, including from “Outside the Lines,” have said eight other major league players were facing suspensions, but sources said Saturday the number could be about 12 when the announcements are made. Most of the remaining players have agreed to accept 50-game suspensions without appealing them, a source said.
Both Manfred and Weiner refused to comment.
Rodriguez declined to comment on if he or his representatives reached out to MLB or the New York Yankees, saying he will leave that to his legal team. On Saturday, Rodriguez walked all four times at the plate for the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder. He said he would work out on Sunday and then fly to Chicago, where he expects to play Monday for the Yankees.
“I’m flying to Chicago,” said Rodriguez, who has not played in 2013 after offseason hip surgery.
Rodriguez was seen Sunday taking batting practice in Trenton and Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Sunday said he has the third baseman penciled into the team’s lineup for Monday’s game against the White Sox.
A source from Rodriguez’s camp told ESPN New York that Rodriguez has no interest in a settlement and is prepared to fight baseball in arbitration. The source said that MLB offered to drop any lifetime bans if Rodriguez accepted giving an arbitrator the flexibility to charge him with more than a 50-game suspension.
Rodriguez’s side “unequivocally” turned down the offer, the source said, pointing to clause 7G of the Joint Drug agreement that states that PED users can “only” be hit with a 50-game suspension. Rodriguez has never failed a drug test.
MLB is expected to declare that Rodriguez is not eligible to play while he appeals, invoking the powers of the commissioner to protect the best interests of the game. Rodriguez has said he will appeal any suspension, and is expected to file a grievance if MLB refuses to let him play while he appeals.
If Rodriguez can’t play while he appeals and is not reinstated, he will lose $ 34.2 million in salary. He is due $ 25 million in 2014.
“If this goes to arbitration, it could get very, very ugly,” a source told ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor.
Contrary to speculation that Rodriguez may have personal disablility insurance on his contract, a source with knowledge of Rodriguez’s finances said he doesn’t have any such policy.
Rodriguez, who has missed the entire season after hip surgery and a Grade 1 quad strain, said Friday he thinks he can play five more years, which puts a crimp in the idea an insurance company would be paying any portion of his deal.
Information from ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor and ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell was used in this report.