Clark: All OK between MLBPA, A-Rod

TAMPA, Fla. -- All is right between Alex Rodriguez and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

As long as Rodriguez pays his penalty and his union dues, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark says he expects the Yankees' beleaguered third baseman to be back on the field a year from now.

And, Clark said, he does not expect any retribution against Rodriguez from players who were reportedly angered that he sued the union and demanded he be expelled from it.

"Alex is a member of the players' association," Clark said Monday morning after holding the union's annual spring meeting with the players in the clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

"As such, he will serve the penalty that he's been given by the arbitrator, he will come back in spring training ready to go, wherever that happens to be," Clark said. "He's under contract to the Yankees, so I would expect him to be in camp with the Yankees. Am I concerned about anything beyond that? No."

Rodriguez withdrew his lawsuit against the players' association, as well as one against Major League Baseball, earlier this month in an apparent attempt to reconcile with both organizations after a prolonged appeal of the 211-game suspension he was hit with for his involvement in baseball's Biogenesis PED scandal.

Initially, Rodriguez sought to have the decision of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz overturned, but his decision to withdraw both suits signaled an acceptance of the 162-game suspension (plus playoffs) he was ultimately given.

Although Clark -- a teammate of Rodriguez's on the Yankees in 2004 -- said he has not spoken to Rodriguez since the withdrawal of the lawsuits, he said no further fence-mending is needed between him and the union.

"The page has been turned," he said.

Clark refused to divulge what was said on the conference call but denied that any player had called for Rodriguez's ouster during his tour of training camps, which has taken him to six teams so far. He also danced around the question of whether the subject of Rodriguez had come up in his discussion with Yankees players Monday.

"That would constitute me telling you guys exactly what was discussed in the room," Clark said. "But rest assured, obviously anything going on with Biogenesis and the Joint Drug Agreement is part of that conversation. You can trust that anything that was in a headline at some point in time is something that we discuss."

Clark was named executive director of the players' association in December following the death of his predecessor, Michael Weiner, of a brain tumor in November. Many players were angered when Rodriguez brought the suit against the union because it was critical of some statements made by Weiner while he was gravely ill and accused the union of misrepresenting him during his appeal.

Clark, who was a close friend of Weiner's, declined to address the issue of Rodriguez's attorneys' criticism of him but acknowledged that a charge of misrepresentation by a union member was a serious one.

"As a former player, I always will believe in our fraternity," he said. "If any player in that fraternity feels like this organization that I have a lot of passion for and a lot of pride in isn't defending his rights, yes it is a concern. Having played with Alex, having played against Alex, yes it is a concern."

Clark said he was not concerned, however, with the decisions of 13 other players, including former NL MVP Ryan Braun and current Yankee Francisco Cervelli, to accept suspensions from 50 to 65 games without appeal despite a lack of any failed drug tests.

"I am comfortable with the process that is in place," he said. "That process is in place and has been fought for and is available to the guys should they decide to go through it. Every player had an opportunity to go through the process."