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Major League Baseball may try to suspend Alex Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of its drug rules.
If MLB goes ahead with the suspension under the labor deal, it means the Yankees slugger would lose virtually any chance of delaying the penalty while he appeals the case. Rodriguez has never been disciplined for a drug offense, and a first offender under baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement is entitled to an automatic stay if the players’ union files a grievance. That means the penalty is put on hold until after an arbitrator rules.
But a person familiar with management’s deliberations told the AP on Monday that MLB could skirt that problem by punishing Rodriguez for other alleged violations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because no statements were authorized.
Taking that action would prevent the New York Yankees third baseman from returning to the field, even if he recovers from a quadriceps injury cited by the team as the reason for keeping him on the disabled list.