Skip to content

Alex Rodriguez receives 162-game suspension

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. The Mets and Rockies have been talking about a Troy Tulowitzki deal “for weeks”

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:05 AM EST

    San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    But one insider says the package the Rockies are asking for Tulo is “bats**t”

  2. Vin Scully lost his 1988 World Series ring at Costco but got it back. And talks about how Costco is cool.

    Dec 19, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

    vin scully getty Getty Images

    He doesn’t say so, but I have this feeling he’s a chicken bake man. Chicken bakes are pretty underrated.

  3. Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene.

    Dec 19, 2014, 7:28 AM EST

    Bud Selig Reuters

    Can someone justify this sort of golden parachute? Will anyone even bother to try?

  4. Jake Peavy agrees to a two-year, $24 million deal to stay with the San Francisco Giants

    Dec 19, 2014, 6:50 AM EST

    jake peavy getty Getty Images

    The Giants haven’t gotten many of their sought-after targets this offseason, but they keep one of their starters.

  5. Matt Kemp has officially been traded to the Padres

    Dec 18, 2014, 11:27 PM EST

    matt kemp dodgers getty Getty Images

    It took long enough, but Matt Kemp has finally been traded to the Padres.

  6. Padres acquire catcher Derek Norris from Athletics

    Dec 18, 2014, 9:30 PM EST

    Derek Norris Getty Getty Images

    The Padres continue to overhaul their lineup while the A’s continue to unload.

  7. Delmon Young would prefer to re-sign with the Orioles

    Dec 18, 2014, 8:46 PM EST

    Delmon Young AP

    Young, 29, batted .302 with seven home runs and .779 OPS (120 OPS+) over 255 plate appearances this past season.

  8. Mariners sign Mark Lowe

    Dec 18, 2014, 7:50 PM EST

    Mark Lowe AP AP

    Lowe began his career with Seattle and had his best season with the club in 2009.

  9. Report: Josh Johnson is “on the verge” of re-signing with the Padres

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:07 PM EST

    San Diego Padres Photo Day Getty Images

    Johnson missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in late April.

  10. Ichiro is getting “some consideration” from the Orioles

    Dec 18, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Ichiro Suzuki Getty Images

    Does Ichiro really have one more year left in him?

  11. Royals designate Johnny Giavotella for assignment

    Dec 18, 2014, 5:17 PM EST

    Johnny Giavotella Getty Images

    Giavotella is a career .315 hitter with an .835 OPS and as many walks as strikeouts in nearly 2,000 plate appearances at Triple-A.

  12. The Walter White of the Biogenesis case pleads guilty

    Dec 18, 2014, 4:47 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 4.46.36 PM

    He’s probably not the one who knocks. Indeed, this crew seemed so amateurish he probably called first to make sure it was a good time for everyone.

  13. What Communists thought about baseball in 1934

    Dec 18, 2014, 3:34 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.21.56 PM

    Between Cuba and North Korea, it’s been a big couple of days for communism. Let’s see what communists thought about baseball once upon a time.

  14. Royals sign Kris Medlen for two years, with option for 2017

    Dec 18, 2014, 3:18 PM EST

    kris medlen getty Getty Images

    Medlen missed all of this year recovering from his second Tommy John elbow surgery.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (3693)
  2. M. Kemp (3451)
  3. M. Cabrera (3342)
  4. M. Morse (2502)
  5. J. Kang (2254)
  1. J. Lester (2228)
  2. C. Headley (2139)
  3. C. Hamels (1780)
  4. A. Rios (1777)
  5. W. Miley (1760)