NEW YORK — Major League Baseball told the New York Yankees that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended today for his links to a clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs but can play while he appeals the penalty, a person familiar with deliberations told The Associated Press.
The Yankees were not told the exact length of the suspension, though they under the impression it will be through the 2014 season, the person said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statement was authorized.
Rodriguez could get a shorter penalty if he agrees to give up the right to file a grievance and force the case before an arbitrator, the person added.
MLB planned an announcement for 9 a.m. today, a second person familiar with the deliberations said, also on condition of anonymity.
Rodriguez is the most famous player linked to the clinic, and the Yankees expect him to be charged with interfering with MLB's investigation, resulting in a harsher penalty.
In all, 14 players faced discipline following baseball's probe of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic.
Barring an agreement, Rodriguez's appeal would be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.
Adding to the drama: The 38-year-old Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, was due to return to the major leagues tonight when the Yankees play at the Chicago White Sox, his first big-league appearance since hip surgery in January.
"He's in there, and I'm going to play him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after New York's 6-3 loss at San Diego.
Before the game, Girardi said: "I think all of us are curious what's going to happen."
All-Stars Nelson Cruz of Texas and Jhonny Peralta of Detroit, and Everth Cabrera of San Diego were among those who could get 50-game suspensions from the probe, sparked in January when Miami New Times published documents linking many players to the closed clinic in Coral Gables, Fla.