ESPN’s T.J. Quinn reported yesterday that Alex Rodriguez’s representatives were negotiating a possible settlement with MLB in regard to a suspension for his ties to Biogenesis. However, it appears that talks have broken down.
This seems to jibe with the latest update from Quinn, which says that Rodriguez’s representatives and MLB “aren’t anywhere close” to agreeing on the length of a suspension. Key for Rodriguez is that he wants to maximize the $100 million remaining on his contract with the Yankees.
As Craig Calcaterra reported yesterday, MLB is prepared to ban Rodriguez for life if a settlement isn’t reached. This would force him to fight the league through arbitration, where he could still be handed a lengthy suspension. Bud Selig has reportedly considered using the “best interests of baseball clause” to keep him off the field if he appeals.
There should be an announcement on a suspension any day now, but it sounds like the drama is just beginning.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.