Alex Rodriguez’s bright baseball career has been tarnished by alleged steroid use.
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball is no longer negotiating a settlement with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and could hand him a 214-game suspension, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.
Rodriguez said Friday after a minor league rehab game for Class AA Trenton that he believes the Yankees and the league want him banned so they can avoid paying the $95 million left on his contract.
MLB officials responded by rejecting Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement, a league source told the Daily News.
The suspension would keep Rodriguez off the field for the rest of this season and for the entirety of next season.
Players Association chief Michael Weiner reportedly reached out to the league to discuss a settlement but was told that MLB no longer wants to negotiate with Rodriguez.
Earlier Saturday, Yankees officials responded to Rodriguez’s claim that the team is trying to keep him off the field so it can void his contract and his assertion that he wants performance-enhancing drugs out of baseball.
The league is in the midst of deciding on punishment for Rodriguez and other players tied to South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis and PED’s.
“This is typical Alex,” one Yankees official told the Daily News. “Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he blames everybody else. It wasn’t the Yankees who introduced him to Anthony Bosch. It wasn’t the Yankees who introduced him to Dr. Galea, or anybody else.”
Bosch is the founder of Biogenesis and Galea is a human growth hormone proponent who treated Rodriguez in 2009.
Rodriguez declared he is “100 percent” ready to play in a major league game for the first time in more than nine months.
That game could come Monday when the Yankees go to Chicago to play the White Sox.
But it appears MLB might pull the plug on Rodriguez’s plans.
Sunday is expected to be the deadline for players to accept Biogenesis-related suspensions. The official announcements are expected to come Monday.
While most of the other eight players who are expected to be suspended for 50 games reportedly are willing to accept their punishment, Rodriguez has said that he will appeal any suspension.
The 38-year-old believes that he thinks he can play another five years. He also said he will keep fighting and “follow due process” when it comes to any punishment that might be meted out from the Biogenesis investigation.
He was scheduled to play seven innings for Trenton on Saturday, and if he seems sufficiently recovered from a Grade 1 quad strain, he could join the Yankees on Monday.
USA Today reported earlier that MLB has given Rodriguez a choice: either accept a suspension through the 2014 season or face a lifetime ban.
If Rodriguez accepts the suspension, it would result in him losing $34.5 million in salary. But he would still be due $61 million from 2015-17, as well as a possible $30 million in bonuses — if he averts a lifetime suspension.
“There’s a lot of layers to this,” he said, adding that this is not the last time he will be on the baseball field.
“I love the Yankees. I love the clubhouse and my brothers. I’m excited to go back there and help them win another championship.”