New York Yankees All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez has two options: accept a deal to be suspended from Major League Baseball for the next two years without pay, or face a possible lifetime ban from the league.
Rodriguez and several other players have been pressured by officials to accept suspensions for their ties to the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic, which has been accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
MLB officials are expected to announce any disciplinary action being taken no later than Monday, according to The Associated Press. One list would name the players who have accepted suspension deals, and another would list players who would be disciplined without deals, but could appeal those decisions later.
If Rodriguez, 38, accepts the deal, he would be suspended for the remainder of this season, as well as the 2014 season without pay, but would have the chance to return for the 2015 to 2017 seasons and collect the remaining $60 million of his contract with the Yankees, the New York Daily News reported.
Rodriguez is one of the highest paid athletes in the world, earning $30.3 million from June 2012 to June 2013, according to ABC News.
"I hope he does it," former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent told USA Today. "It's right for baseball. The harder he comes down, the better it is for baseball."
David Cornwell, Rodriguez's attorney, has said he would appeal any suspension.
Rodriguez will likely be accused of recruiting other players for the now-defunct Florida clinic, attempting to obstruct the league's investigation and covering up past violations, the AP reported.
Most of the players involved in the scandal, including Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers and Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres, are expected to face 50-game bans.
Although Rodriguez may be suspended come Monday, he is slated to play in rehabilitation games in New Jersey this weekend with the Double-A Trenton Thunder, a minor league affiliate of the Yankees, the team announced on Thursday. Rodriguez has not played in the major leagues this season, since he had a major hip surgery in January.
"That could put Rodriguez in line to rejoin the Yankees on Monday in Chicago, if he gets through the weekend without another setback or a suspension related to his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic," MLB.com reported.
Meanwhile, ESPN reported Friday that talks between Rodriguez and MLB officials about his impending suspension have stalled. Negotiations are "stuck" on Rodriguez's desire to collect the rest of the millions owed under his contract, according to ESPN.
A source familiar with the talks told ESPN that the two parties "aren't anywhere close."