Report: Alex Rodriguez plans to fight suspension through appeal process

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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.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.