ORLANDO, Fla. – Alex Rodriguez is tentatively scheduled for an investigatory interview with Major League Baseball on Friday in New York, according to a person familiar with the process, which would enable the Yankees third baseman to testify at his grievance next week.
The interview could be called off, the person said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of the sport's drug agreement and labor contract, and the players' association filed a grievance to overturn the penalty. The case, being heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, is scheduled to resume Monday.
The three-time AL MVP said four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03, but he has denied using them since. At the time of his suspension, MLB said the penalty was for "use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years" and for "engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner's investigation."
Rodriguez was called in for an interview by MLB in July. In a 1980 grievance involving Ferguson Jenkins, arbitrator Raymond Goetz ruled the pitcher had a right to not incriminate himself because legal charges were pending, and that MLB could not discipline him for refusing to answer its questions.
MLB has been expected to assert that Rodriguez should not be allowed to testify at his grievance if he first refused to answer MLB's questions at the investigatory interview.
The person said MLB has threatened A-Rod with additional discipline if he answers questions at an interview and denies using PEDs during the period in question. It is not clear if additional discipline could be combined with the current grievance.