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.

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.

Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.

A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.