Skip to content

Source: A-Rod blew his chance to take a deal for a 50 game suspension

Jan 13, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez speaks during a news conference in Chicago Reuters

Buster Olney wrote something that turned my head today. That A-Rod had a plea deal possible back in the spring — for a low, low, number of games — and turned it down:

If Rodriguez had agreed to something last spring, before MLB investigators had all the Biogenesis details from Bosch, Rodriguez might’ve been able to barter for a suspension for something close to 50 games, or what a first-time offender gets for a first positive PED test.  If he had taken responsibility then, owned up and made his best possible deal, then A-Rod probably would’ve been back on the field late in the 2013 season, with the whole matter behind him.

I was skeptical of this when I first read it, as I recalled no report, credible or otherwise, suggesting that A-Rod or any of the Biogenesis-connected players had a plea deal on the table in April or May, which is the timeframe Olney mentions. And certainly no plea deal to A-Rod in the neighborhood of 50 games at any time.

But, inspired by Olney’s report, I made some calls. And Buster was right. According to sources familiar with Major League Baseball’s investigation, there was a window of time — while Rodriguez was still represented by attorneys Jay Reisinger and James Sharp and before Major League Baseball flipped Tony Bosch and got him to cooperate — where A-Rod could have made a deal for a substantially shorter suspension than he ultimately received. Possibly as low as 50 games.

It was apparently not to the level of a formal offer — there aren’t documents or emails regarding this stuff — but informal conversations had begun suggesting such a framework. A-Rod and the legal team which came to represent him through the arbitration rejected the overtures, however. Major League Baseball eventually obtained the cooperation of Bosch and the settlement ship essentially sailed.

I say “essentially” because of reports in July and August — just before the 211-game suspension was announced — that A-Rod and the league were talking about a deal. But those were offers well in excess of 100 games and by that point it was worth the gamble to fight. At the same time, it’s worth remembering that, back in the spring, a 50 game suspension may not have seemed like a great deal — it was uncertain how Major League Baseball would prove its case nor was it clear that MLB had an argument or even a desire to seek more than a 50-game suspension against A-Rod in the first place. But, there was a chance for A-Rod to get back on the field after a suspension — indeed, a suspension he would have served while on the disabled list — and have it all behind him last season.

And, hindsight nor not, A-Rod, it seems, had a chance to save his baseball career. That chance came in the spring. But he blew it.

Latest Posts
  1. Charles Barkley’s ceremonial first pitch went poorly

    Sep 17, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Charles Barkley

    Still not as bad as his golf swing.

  2. Marcus Stroman gets a six-game suspension

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:53 PM EDT

    Marcus Stroman AP

    Good to see MLB make the smart call and suspend Stroman for headhunting.

  3. Got four minutes? See all 211 of Jose Altuve’s hits

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Jose Altuve Getty Getty Images

    Altuve is on pace for the most hits in a season since …

  4. Concussion ends John Jaso’s season for second straight year

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

    john jaso getty Getty Images

    This year he hit .264 with nine homers and a .767 OPS in 99 games, including 47 starts at catcher.

  5. The Orioles call up Christian Walker

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    orioles logo

    He’ll mash lefties (hopefully) and play some first base.

  6. Delmon Young’s playoff motto: “Keep your booty loose”

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Delmon Young Getty Images

    Despite playing for five different teams and in general not being particularly valuable Delmon Young is headed to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

  7. Jake Peavy: 4.72 ERA for the Red Sox, 2.16 ERA for the Giants

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v New York Mets Getty Images

    When the Giants acquired Jake Peavy from the Red Sox in late July expectations were minimal.

  8. “Not looking good” for Giancarlo Stanton to play again this season

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    giancarlo stanton getty Getty Images

    “His mindset is he wants to come back and play. Ours is, absolutely, if it can happen.”

  9. Umpire Joe West suspended for one game for his part in the Jonathan Papelbon incident

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

    Joe West Jonathan Papelbon AP

    Jonathan Papelbon got seven games for the crotch-grab. Joe West gets one game for the Papelbon grab.

  10. Hanley Ramirez to miss today’s game

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    Another day off for the Dodgers’ ailing shortstop.

  11. HBT Daily: The Orioles clinch after an improbably successful season

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Orioles celebrate AP

    Most people either thought the O’s would lose this year or, at the very least, thought they’d win differently. Either way: they are the AL East champs.

  12. Video: Fan catches home run ball, loses wedding ring

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Guy loses ring

    “Hey honey? I have some good news and some bad news . . . “

  13. Remember when people laughed at the Orioles hiring Dan Duquette?

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT

    Dan Duquette AP

    Or, at the very least doubted his ability to turn the Orioles around.

  14. Video: Dee Gordon is bored with your tired, conventional infield play

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Dee Gordon

    He has decided to add difficulty to it. Like, playing second base while sitting on his but in the infield dirt. Or starting double plays from his stomach, for example.

  15. Joe Girardi and Joe Maddon at odds after Jeter was hit by a pitch last night

    Sep 17, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT

    Joe Girardi Getty Images

    Rays pitchers have hit Yankees batters five times in the past week. Joe Girardi is sick of it.

  16. Umpire ejects jackwagon fan heckling Bryce Harper in Atlanta last night

    Sep 17, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT

    Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

    And the Braves and their announcers bear some of the blame for this baloney.

Featured video

Orioles turn AL East on its head
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (3942)
  2. R. Castillo (2870)
  3. A. Rizzo (2576)
  4. B. Belt (2264)
  5. A. Pujols (2257)
  1. H. Ryu (2113)
  2. C. Young (2058)
  3. J. Hamilton (2024)
  4. C. Davis (1919)
  5. E. Gattis (1919)