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.

Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.

Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.

Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.