Report: MLB is finished negotiating with Alex Rodriguez, ready to issue ban

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The Yankees weren’t the only ones who were peeved by Alex Rodriguez’s comments following his rehab game with Double-A Trenton last night. Apparently it was enough for MLB to cut off any talks of a settlement.

Bill Madden, Michael O’Keefee and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News have the latest developments in the ever-evolving saga.

Alex Rodriguez just talked himself out of a possible settlement with Major League Baseball and faces a 214-game suspension to be handed down on Monday, the Daily News has learned.

Following Rodriguez’s explosive comments after Friday night’s minor league rehab game in Trenton in which Rodriguez basically said Major League Baseball and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him off the field in order to void his contract, MLB officials have rejected Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement, a baseball source familiar with the situation said.

According to the source, Players Association chief Michael Weiner reached out to MLB on behalf of Rodriguez Saturday morning in an attempt to talk settlement but was told that baseball is no longer interested in negotiating with the disgraced third baseman.

“They asked for a meeting this morning and were told ‘no,’” said the source. “Baseball is more than comfortable with what they have.”

Interestingly, this report isn’t nearly as definitive about Rodriguez potentially facing a lifetime ban from MLB, which has been rumored in reports all week long. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News writes that a lifetime ban “still appears to be in play,” but the wording is very interesting here.

David Waldstein of the New York Times was told by a source that Rodriguez has met with MLB four times during its investigation. However, the New York Daily News report says the “most substantive” offer from A-Rod’s camp during the discussions with MLB and the players union called for him to serve an 80-100 game suspension before promising to retire. The catch is that he still wanted to collect the rest of his contract, which one source likened to “paid vacation.”

Rodriguez also reportedly contacted the Yankees today in an effort to discuss a settlement over the roughly $100 million remaining on his contract. The also team declined, telling him that they are not involved in MLB’s investigation.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: