The AP has learned that Major League Baseball might suspend Alex Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of drug rules. This would simply negate the probability of delaying a penalty until after the case goes to an arbitrator.
A First Time for A-Rod
Rodriguez has never been disciplined for a drug abuse offense. According to baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement, any player who is a first-time drug offender is entitled to an automatic stay provided; the players’ association files a grievance. This effectively implies that the penalty is put on hold until the ruling of an arbitrator.
Such an action taken by MLB would prevent A-Rod from entering the field, even if he makes a complete recovery from a quadriceps injury, the reason given by his team for keeping him on the list of the disabled.
Also, even if MLB uses this only as a threatening measure, it would give it the power to forge a deal with the New York Yankees third baseman.