Alex Rodriguez's plea for a lighter punishment in the Biogenesis case has apparently been unsuccessful, with the New York Daily News reporting Saturday that Major League Baseball has rejected requests from the troubled New York Yankees third baseman's representatives to continue negotiations regarding a possible settlement of his looming suspension.
According to the report, MLB's refusal to continue talks was prompted by comments Rodriguez made regarding his situation following Friday's rehab game with the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate.
The Daily News also stated that the Commissioner's Office is set to levy a 214-game suspension on Rodriguez that will run through the entire 2014 season on Monday, the day the league plans to announce all penalties for those players involved with Biogenesis of America, a Miami-area based anti-aging clinic suspected of distributing performance-enhancing substances.
Rodriguez, who launched a two-run homer in Trenton's victory over the Reading Phillies on Friday while continuing his comeback from offseason hip surgery, suggested the Yankees were conspiring with the league office to hand down a ban designed to force him out of the game, thereby enabling the team to get out of paying the near $100 million still owed to the star slugger on the 10- year, $275 million deal he signed following the 2007 season.
"I will say this, there's more than one party that benefits from me never stepping back on the field. That's not my teammates and not the Yankee fans," Rodriguez remarked.
Rodriguez, who admitted to using steroids during a two-year period from 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers after his name appeared on a list of those who tested positive during an MLB survey taken in 2003, also claimed to support baseball's efforts to rid PED's of the sport.
"I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PED's; that's a must," he said. "All the players, we feel that way. But when all this stuff is going on in the background, and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract, that's concerning for me, concerning for present and I think it should be concerning for future players, as well."
Rodriguez walked in all four of his plate appearances during Saturday's rehab contest with Trenton. The Yankees had been planning to activate the three- time AL MVP from the 60-day disabled list on Monday, when the club begins a series with the White Sox in Chicago, though Rodriguez would have to appeal any suspension he receives in order to become available.