Major League Baseball could suspend New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, rather than under the drug policy, according to the Associated Press.
If MLB chooses that route, any chance of a delay due to the arbitration process would be eliminated. Since Rodriguez has never been suspended for a violation of the Joint Drug Agreement, he would be protected under the players' association's right to file a grievance.
However, the CBA states under Article XII B that "Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law."
Rodriguez's lawyer, David Cornwall, told ESPN New York Radio on Monday that the decision would be appealed either way:
"We're still involved in the process of preparing for an eventual appeal in this matter ... My understanding is that the next step that is going to be taken is that the players' association and baseball will meet to discuss the investigation and baseball's focus on particular players."
Rodriguez suffered a strained quadriceps while on a rehab assignment following hip surgery earlier this year. The Yankees don't plan to have him resume playing until Aug. 1 at the earliest.