Source: A-Rod Can Play During Suspension Appeal

Alex Rodriguez will be suspended Monday, likely through the 2014 season.

Baseball is threatening to kick Rodriguez out of the game for life unless the Yankees star agrees not to fight a lengthy suspension for his role in the sport's latest drug scandal.
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Following Friday night's game, Rodriguez all but said he thought MLB and the Yankees were conspiring to keep him from getting back to the big leagues.

"There is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field. And that's not my teammates and it's not the Yankee fans," said, adding: "When all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that's concerning for me."

He last played in October, going 3 for 25 (.120) with no RBIs in the playoffs. Rodriguez is owed $8,568,306 of his $28 million salary from Monday through the rest of the season and $86 million for the final four years of his contract with the Yankees. Girardi didn't think A-Rod's arrival would create more turmoil than the Yankees already are used to.

"I don't suspect it'll be awkward. Most of these guys know him as a teammate and have laughed a lot with Alex and been around Alex a lot," he said. "I think it'll be business as usual. I'm sure there will be more media there, obviously, tomorrow, but I think that's probably more for Alex to deal with than the rest of the guys. I don't think it'll be a big deal."

Lawyers involved in the drug cases have been trying to reach agreements that would avoid grievances. Deal or no deal, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was prepared to announce discipline.

Peralta didn't think the possibility of a suspension made it harder to focus on the field.

"Nothing to worry about," he said. "Play the game how I play every day, and try to enjoy every day."

Asked what action he would take if penalized, Cruz said: "I haven't decided what I'm going to do."

There have been 43 suspensions under the major league drug agreement since testing with penalties for first offenses started in 2005. The longest penalty served has been a 100-game suspension by San Francisco pitcher Guillermo Mota for a positive test for Clenbuterol, his second drug offense.

In addition, Tampa Bay outfielder Manny Ramirez retired two years ago rather than face a 100-game suspension. When he decided to return for 2012 the penalty was cut to 50 games because he already had sat out almost an entire season.

Colorado catcher Eliezer Alfonzo was suspended for 100 games in September 2011, but the penalty was rescinded the following May because of handling issues similar to the ones involving Braun's urine sample. More News:

  • MLB Threatening A-Rod With Lifetime Ban
  • Should Baseball Players Accused of Steroid Use Be Allowed in the Hall of Fame?
  • Study: MLB Players' Plate Discipline Degrades Over Season
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    AP Sports Writers Noah Trister in Detroit and Bernie Wilson in San Diego, and AP freelance writer Rick Eymer in Oakland, Calif., contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.