Rapid Reaction: A-Rod banned for 2014

January, 11, 2014
Jan 11
12:30
PM ET


Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for 162 games and the 2014 postseason, a reduction from the original 211-game suspension, but the length is a clear victory for Major League Baseball.

WHAT IT MEANS: For A-Rod, a further tarnished legacy and the chance he will never play in the big leagues again. He will miss a year of action and will try to return at 39 after two hip surgeries. Given all the fighting between him and the Yankees, it is uncertain they would even take him back.

For the Yankees, they will save $25 million this year for a player they didn't really want around anyway. For MLB, it's a big win, even though it appears MLB was able to nail A-Rod only on the drug charges, not the obstruction.

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WHAT IS NEXT: A-Rod will try to fight the ruling in federal court, as he mentions in his statement. There, he will likely try to get an injunction of the decision first, and then, eventually, attempt to have it overturned.

His odds of success are long. Generally speaking, the courts don’t like to hear cases that have been collectively bargained. Additionally, it would be quite expensive for A-Rod to keep fighting. Still, this endless case is likely going to extras -- at least if Rodriguez gets his way.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: Each game A-Rod is suspended is worth about $154,000. He has $86 million left on a $275 million contract that has four seasons remaining on it. He will lose $25 million this year.

RECORD SETTER: While players have been banned for life for other things, this is the largest PED suspension in the history of baseball. The previous longest was 105 games for Miguel Tejada, who was suspended in 2013 for amphetamines.

SPRING TRAINING: A-Rod still plans to attend spring training, a source tells ESPN New York. This is a loophole in the CBA, and the Yankees may not be able to prevent Rodriguez from being in Tampa in a month -- unless they cut him. If they just told him not to be there, he and the players' association could file a grievance.

MORE SUITS: A-Rod is still suing Bud Selig and MLB. That case, in which A-Rod claims the commissioner and MLB were on a “witch hunt,” will continue. Whether it will be heard in court is open to interpretation. If it is, it will take some time.

A-Rod is also suing the Yankees’ team doctor, Chris Ahmad, claiming he misdiagnosed Rodriguez’s hip injury during the 2012 playoffs.

WHO'S ON THIRD: The Yankees have Kelly Johnson, Dean Anna and Eduardo Nunez on the current roster.

In other words, they will likely pick someone else up. The Yankees could warm to the idea of a platoon of Johnson and someone like the unsigned Mark Reynolds or Michael Young. Reynolds played in 36 games with the Yankees in 2013, while they tried to deal for Young at the trade deadline.

Johnson, Anna and Brian Roberts are the second basemen on the roster, set to replace Robinson Cano.

So, let’s just say the situation is a little unsettled.

WILL A-ROD PLAY AGAIN: There is so much ill will between the Yankees, MLB and A-Rod, it would not be shocking if he is eventually cut. The Yankees have tired of the whole circus and wish A-Rod had taken Brian Cashman’s advice a long time ago.

It may take a while, but it wouldn't be surprising if Rodriguez is eventually shown the door.

BONUS TIME: If he plays again and hits six more homers, Rodriguez would reach Willie Mays’ 660 homers, which would be worth a $6 million bonus. If he were to tie Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and pass Barry Bonds (762), there would be a $6 million bonus at each stop. In all, he could make up to $30 million in incentives.

If he plays again, he could catch Mays, but the rest would be difficult, if not impossible.

On Jan. 15, Rodriguez stands to collect $3 million from his original bonus tied to his $275 million contract. That money won't be impacted by Horowitz's decision.

HAPPIER TIMES: While A-Rod’s $275 million contract hasn’t exactly worked out, he'll always have 2009.

QUESTION: What do you think of the ruling?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .285
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .783
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135