Alex Rodriguez's appeal hearing starts, decision expected in winter

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The Yankees' slugger looks like he might have a quite a long and different offseason ahead of him.

The first day of Alex Rodriguez's grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension began on Monday, and if the case doesn't settle, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz is expected to make a decision sometime during the winter, ESPN reported on Monday.

Rodriguez was one of 14 players the MLB penalized after an investigation of Biogenesis, a Miami-based anti-aging clinic. All the players accepted their punishment, except for Rodriguez. The MLB Players Association filed a grievance to force an appeal on Rodriguez's punishment because, despite being a first time offender under MLB's drug program, he was given a much larger punishment than the standard 50-game suspension.

According to the New York Post, Anthony Bosch arrived at MLB's Manhattan headquarters in the afternoon and was still being questioned by MLB attorneys when the session ended for the day. Much of baseball's evidence centers around Bosch, who is reported to have extensive evidence linking Rodriguez to the purchase and usage of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Joseph Tacopina, Rodriguez's attorney, said the hearing went well, and Rodriguez declined comment when he left the hearing at approximately 6 p.m.

The hearing is drawing a division between Rodriguez and the Yankees. As the New York Post reports, the Yankees want to get their payroll below the $189 million luxury tax threshold, and not having Rodriguez on the books would go a long way to achieving that goal. Rodriguez is scheduled to make $25 million next year, with a $6 million bonus if he ties Willie Mays' career home run total. He is just six away.

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