- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The New York Yankees do not expect Alex Rodriguez to be suspended imminently for his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, sources familiar with the investigation and the third baseman said, despite the evidence against him being "far beyond" what Major League Baseball had on Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.
Sources, though, conceded that the suspension of Braun could be a precursor to a similar punishment for Rodriguez, who is currently on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps.
“My understanding is he’s trying to make a deal," a source said. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen [Monday]."
Braun was suspended without pay for the rest of the season on Monday for "violations of the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," according to a statement released by the league.
A source familiar with the discussions told T.J. Quinn of ESPN's "Outside The Lines" that after MLB's original meeting with Braun on June 29, at which he refused to answer questions about Biogenesis, he requested a second meeting. Braun, after realizing the significance of the evidence against him from questions in the first meeting, decided to meet again to strike a deal that would limit his suspension to this season, according to the source.
It is because of that deal that Braun's suspension was announced Monday, the source told Quinn. The plan remains for the rest of the suspensions stemming from the investigation to be announced all at once.
Those suspensions will include Rodriguez, the source said. The length of his suspension is expected to be affected by MLB's belief that he interfered with its investigation.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team had not been given any heads-up from MLB regarding a possible suspension of A-Rod and had no idea when, or if, any discipline was forthcoming.
“We’ve been kept out of the process," Cashman said.
Presented with the news of Braun's suspension and its possible implications for Rodriguez, several Yankees expressed support for their absent third baseman before Monday night's game against the Texas Rangers.
"I can't say anything because I don't know what happened with Alex," Mariano Rivera said. "[But] I have to support him. He's my teammate. He's my brother. I'm not saying he did or didn't do it, but if it happens, I can't throw him in the street. He's still my brother."
Andy Pettitte, who admitted his own HGH use in 2007 after he was cited in the Mitchell report, said, "We're going to back him up. We're his teammates. There's no doubt. But if he did something wrong, you have to be punished for it. But I'll still back him up. I'm still going to love him because I built the relationship with him. He's a teammate of mine. You just wish nothing but the best for him."
Yankees captain Derek Jeter, once one of A-Rod’s closest friends in baseball, refused to address specifics about Braun or A-Rod, citing his unfamiliarity with the details of the story.
"This caught me off guard, so I don't want to comment too much about it until I know a little bit more, but just the fact that we're talking about it, it's not good," Jeter said. "Any time you're sitting around talking about this kind of stuff, it's not fun, it's not good for the game, but it shows that what [MLB is] trying to do is working, you know what I'm saying?"
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