As this stage of the Alex Rodriguez saga barrels to a close, ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews is reporting that A-Rod might be willing to accept a suspension if it covers fewer than 100 games. Rodriguez and MLB are currently waiting on the decision of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, the arbiter in charge of ruling on the original 211 game suspension, and that decision could come as soon as Friday.
It seems A-Rod is currently making the calculation that any sort of legal challenge to a suspension of 100 or fewer games would likely cost close to the $15 million he would lose if he simply accepted a 100-game suspension. If the money turns out to be a wash, Rodriguez will then have to weigh the impact such a suspension would have on his legacy and the amount of mental anguish it would cause him.
At this point, both a strong legal challenge and an acceptance of a shorter sentence seem like possibilities entering the final stages of Horowitz's deliberation. Rodriguez has often been defiant about the process, so predicting his reaction is difficult.
Much of the offseason coverage of A-Rod's situation as it pertains to the Yankees has been about how much money a suspension would save them, but A-Rod might also still be one of their best options at third base and DH going into the season. In 2013, he hit .244/.348/.413 in 181 plate appearances. Losing A-Rod might help the Yankees' finances, but his bat, even in a diminished form, is likely a valuable asset going into next year.