Word from inside Major League Baseball is that Alex Rodriguez is facing a possible lifetime ban for his links to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal, and the MLB has now begun negotiating a settlement with his legal team for a long suspension instead, ESPN and the New York Post report. The lifetime ban wouldn't necessarily stick, and sources say the MLB is trying to avoid the hassle of an inevitable appeal by A-Rod, whose lawyers have previously said they will fight any discipline. The suspension deal being considered could be close to a full season.
If a settlement isn't reached, the MLB is looking at a tricky bit of legal maneuvering to keep A-Rod from playing while he awaits an appeal, the AP reports. If he is disciplined under the Joint Drug Agreement, his penalty is put on hold until after an arbitrator's ruling. But a source says the MLB may instead attempt to punish him under the labor contract, which would prevent him from playing. That threat might be enough to force his team to agree to a settlement, the details of which could be announced as soon as today.