Update: ESPN confirms earlier reports that MLB will suspend Alex Rodriguez on Monday for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.
Representatives for Alex Rodriguez reportedly contacted Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees on Saturday in an effort to negotiate a suspension settlement. Those efforts were rejected, however, according to a report from the New York Daily News.
Michael Weiner of the MLBPA contacted MLB on behalf of Rodriguez. According to the Daily News' report, league officials declined the meeting and said they were no longer interested in negotiating a suspension settlement with Rodriguez. A source told the paper that MLB execs are "more than comfortable" with the evidence they have against Rodriguez.
With a settlement apparently no longer an option, MLB is expected to suspend Rodriguez on Monday for the rest of this season as well as all of next season.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported it's still possible MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will opt for a lifetime ban, but the 214-game suspension is expected. According to the New York Times, a person close to Rodriguez said the meeting request was part of an "ongoing dialogue" and not a new direction in the negotiations. Previous reports indicated Rodriguez had no intention of making a deal with MLB.
Though the MLBPA contacted MLB on behalf of Rodriguez , he reportedly reached out to the Yankees directly in an attempt to negotiate a settlement on the remaining years of his contract. New York owes Rodriguez close to $100 million through 2017, but, according to the Daily News, the Yankees declined to take the meeting by telling the third baseman the situation is in MLB's hands.
The declined meetings come one day after Rodriguez hinted that the Yankees were playing a role in MLB's effort to ban him from baseball. According to Nike Peruffo of the Trentonian, Rodriguez said there was "stuff" going on in the background and people were "finding creative ways to cancel contracts."
"I will say this," Rodriguez said on Friday, via Peruffo. "There is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field."
Those comments reportedly irked both MLB and Yankee officials. One New York official went as far as to say Rodriguez always avoids blame for his own issues.
"This is typical Alex," one Yankee official said, via the Daily News. "Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he blames everybody else. It wasn't the Yankees who introduced [Rodriguez] to Anthony Bosch. It wasn't the Yankees who introduced him to Dr. Galea, or anybody else."
Although MLB officials are confident in the evidence they have against Rodriguez, striking a deal would still have its benefits. If Rodriguez is suspended and files an appeal as expected, he would be allowed to play while the request is being heard by an arbitrator, according to the New York Times. The Yankees and MLB would likely prefer to avoid Rodriguez taking the field, though. If a settlement was reached, Rodriguez would be unable to play immediately.
Even if the sides could move past the public comments, there is still a lot of ground to make up in the negotiation. According to the Daily News, the best offer from Rodriguez's camp has been an 80- to 100-game suspension with Rodriguez agreeing to retire following the suspension. That offer is only valid, however, if Rodriguez is paid the remainder of his contract. Instead, MLB officials are considering a suspension of at least 200 games without pay, costing Rodriguez roughly $36 million in salary.
Regardless of the outcome, the matter should progress soon, as MLB officials are expected to suspend Rodriguez no later than Monday.