Since the news of Alex Rodriguez's unprecedented 162-game suspension was released this morning, a lot of information has come out. Here's a rundown of what we know so far:
- It's a 162-game suspension (full season and playoffs). So if the Yankees make the playoffs, Alex wouldn't be eligible.
- According to Steven Marcus of Newsday: Under joint drug agreement, A-Rod's eligible to attend spring training and even play in games.
- But on the other hand, "Like any other player, a suspended player who is under reserve to a club (albeit on the restricted list while he is serving out a JDA suspension), cannot play for an independent team, Japanese team, Taiwanese team or any other team." This is according to Major League Baseball Players Association spokesman Gregory Bouris in an email to Sports on Earth's Howard Megdal back in August. So if anyone was hoping to see A-Rod play overseas or at your local Independent club's ballpark, it won't be possible unless...
- A-Rod's contract is voided. If that happens (which is a longshot) Ken Lehner, President of the Rockland Boulders, who play in the Can-Am League told Megdal: "Now if A-Rod's contract gets voided as a result of this, then I do believe independent teams would take a look at him."
- A-Rod's lawyers are filing an injunction on Monday to fight the arbitrator's ruling but according to nearly every legal expert both on Twitter and on TV, A-Rod doesn't have a chance of winning a lawsuit like that because once the arbitrator makes his decision, it's binding.
- From the NY Post: The suspension will cost A-Rod $21,131,147, and it gives the Yankees a chance to achieve their goal of getting their 2014 payroll under $189 million — although that chance will blow up if the Yankees sign Japanese free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees’ competitive-balance tax figure on A-Rod drops from $27.5 million to $3.156 million.
- Here's the Yankees' statement on the suspension handed down today: "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.”
We'll have more updates as they come. And people always think weekends are for rest and relaxation. Hogwash!
UPDATE 3:45 P.M.:
Forget what I said about Independent teams because this just happened:
"While some MLB suspensions have been honored by the Atlantic League in the past, if Alex Rodriguez were unable to participate in the Major Leagues this season, we would be open to exploring giving him a chance to play, stay sharp and compete against a high level of competition while helping the Ducks chase a third consecutive championship."
That statement came from Michael Pfaff who is the President and General Manager of the Long Island Ducks.