Jan 11, 2014, 11:47 AM EST
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been hit with a 162-game suspension from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, effectively ruling him out for the entire 2014 season. The suspension also covers the postseason.
Rodriguez originally received a 211-game suspension from MLB in August due to his alleged ties to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in South Florida which supplied performance-enhancing drugs. A number of high-profile players were suspended for their involvement in the scandal, including Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, and Jhonny Peralta, but Rodriguez received the biggest penalty of them all, allegedly for interfering with MLB’s investigation. While the other players connected to Biogenesis immediately accepted their suspensions, Rodriguez appealed and was able to finish out the season. Following a contentious arbitration process, Horowitz did not uphold the original ban, but this should be considered a major victory for MLB and commissioner Bud Selig. It is still the longest suspension under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program. Guillermo Mota previously received a 100-game suspension in 2012.
The other big winner today, at least from a financial perspective, is the Yankees, who will no longer have Rodriguez’s salary ($25 million) on the books for the 2014 season. They might be able to keep their payroll under $189 million even if they sign Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Rodriguez, 38, will still be owed $61 million from 2015-2017, the final years of his 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees.
Below is a statement from Alex Rodriguez, who intends to take his fight against MLB to federal court:
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.
I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.
I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.”
Major League Baseball was succinct in their statement, noting that they still feel 211 games was appropriate but that they respect the reduction:
“For more than five decades, the arbitration process under the Basic Agreement has been a fair and effective mechanism for resolving disputes and protecting player rights. While we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate, we respect the decision rendered by the Panel and will focus on our continuing efforts on eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game.”
The Yankees issued a brief statement as well:
“The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.”
Nov 20, 2014, 5:17 PM EST
Wheeler made his big-league debut this season when injuries wrecked the Yankees’ roster.
Nov 20, 2014, 4:46 PM EST
As recently as mid-September manager Walt Weiss was talking Nicasio up as a reliever for 2015.
Nov 20, 2014, 4:30 PM EST
Could a team that is unloading salary go nine-figures on an outfielder?
Nov 20, 2014, 3:45 PM EST
Belisario served as the White Sox’s closer for part of this season.
Nov 20, 2014, 3:15 PM EST
Zeid underwent season-ending foot surgery in July.
Nov 20, 2014, 3:01 PM EST
And it’s not at all clear when or if those experiments will translate into rules changes.
Nov 20, 2014, 2:05 PM EST
Don’t bother unpacking.
Nov 20, 2014, 1:06 PM EST
With the Tigers out, the Jays are in.
Nov 20, 2014, 12:50 PM EST
Presumed front-runners may have changed their minds.
Nov 20, 2014, 12:14 PM EST
Zimmermann has just one season remaining until he’s eligible for free agency and the 28-year-old right-hander is in line for a massive payday.
Nov 20, 2014, 11:34 AM EST
The Cuban outfielder is letting his market develop, it seems.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:45 AM EST
For now at least there doesn’t seem to be a clear front-runner.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:23 AM EST
What’s not to like?
Nov 20, 2014, 9:24 AM EST
The new commish takes over on January 25.
Nov 20, 2014, 8:54 AM EST
He was a nice pickup for the O’s last season. But do you give Delmon Young a multi-year deal?
Nov 20, 2014, 8:30 AM EST
A crappy K/BB ratio is the least of Cody Kukuk’s problems now.
Nov 20, 2014, 7:44 AM EST
No one ever asks the billionaire owners of baseball teams questions like that.
Nov 19, 2014, 10:37 PM EST
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Marlins have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with infielder Reid Brignac. The deal presumably comes with an invitation to major league spring training.
Nov 19, 2014, 9:22 PM EST
The Marlins have some money to spend, and free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche appears to be among their targets.
Nov 19, 2014, 8:15 PM EST
Sergio Santos had a dreadful 2014 season, posting an 8.57 ERA, 2.19 WHIP, and 29/18 K/BB ratio in 21 innings for the Blue Jays while battling a lingering right forearm issue. He’s a free agent now and will be looking to revitalize his career with any team that will have him.
- Report: Red Sox offer Jon Lester six years, $110-120 million 65
- Report: “There is a 90 percent chance that Pablo Sandoval will sign with the Red Sox” 120
- A’s sign Billy Butler to three-year, $30 million contract 79
- Cardinals reportedly joining pursuit of Jon Lester 65
- Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded. 148
- Braves and Cardinals swap Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller in blockbuster deal 156
- Blue Jays sign Russell Martin to five-year, $82 million deal 135
- Done Deal: Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins agree on the biggest contract in baseball history 124
- So Curt Schilling spent his evening arguing against the theory of evolution (165)
- Braves and Cardinals swap Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller in blockbuster deal (156)
- Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded. (148)
- Blue Jays sign Russell Martin to five-year, $82 million deal (135)