Welcome to another addition of “As the AROD Turns” only this time is has special guest stars in the names of Nelson Cruz, Johnny Peralta and 10 others. MLB has announced its suspensions of the players linked to the now defunct South Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis. 12 players were handed 50 game suspensions while Alex Rodriguez was handed the equivalent of a 211 game regular season suspension.
The full list of suspended players is below:
Alex Rodriguez- New York Yankees
Nelson Cruz- Texas Rangers
Jhonny Peralta- Detroit Tigers
EverthCabrerra- San Diego Padres
Francisco Cervelli- New York Yankees
Jesus Montero- Seattle Mariners (minors)
Antonio Bastardo- Philadelphia Phillies
JordanyValdespin- New York Mets (minors)
Fernando Martinez- New York Yankees (minors)
Cesar Puello- New York Mets
Sergio Escalona- Houston Astros
Fautino De Los Santos- Free agent
Jordan Norberto- Free Agent
Interesting is that all but Alex Rodriguez accepted the suspension without appeal. By accepting MLB punishment free agents such as Nelson Cruz of the Rangers and Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers will ensure when they enter free agency that there will be no lingering effects of the Biogenesis saga. In fact both should be eligible to play in the postseason if their respective teams choose that option. However, at that point in the season it might be all over for the All-Stars.
Why would players like Cruz and Peralta be concerned about free agency? All that is required is to look at the case of Melky Cabrera in 2012. Cabrera was suspended for 50 games the latter part of 2012 and entered free agency. How was he punished by MLB teams? He actually got a raise. The contract he signed with the Giants before being suspended was for one year and $6 million. His post suspension contract with the Blue Jays is worth 2 years and $16 million. Would he have received more? Sure but he still made out. Cruz and Peralta are angling for the same thing.
Alex Rodriguez plans to appeal the decision and will be allowed to play while the appeal is ongoing. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig could have chosen to invoke a clause that would have kept Rodriguez off the field during the appeal as a detriment to the game. Selig instead chose to not exercise his option and instead released a statement.
“Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.”
Rodriguez will most likely play the remainder of the 2013 season while the appeal process runs its course. According to MLB Players Association (MLBPA) officials there is a back log and conflicting obligations on the behalf of the arbitrator which will likely lengthen the appeals process.However the executive director of the MLBPA, Michael Weiner, did release a statement in regards to Rodriguez choosing to appeal the suspension.
“For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously.”
What will come for Rodriguez will be interesting over the coming weeks as the appeal process runs its course. While Rodriguez was cheered in Trenton during a rehab stint it is unlikely the fans of any MLB stadium, including Yankee Stadium, will respond the same way. To expect boos for Rodriguez should be considered a gargantuan understatement.
While the suspension of Alex Rodriguez is clearly the biggest story it is the not the only suspension that will affect teams looking to make the postseason, mainly the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. Nelson Cruz’s suspension will impact the Texas Rangers and Jhonny Peralta’s suspension will impact the Detroit Tigers. The full impacts of all these suspension and Alex Rodriguez appeal will play out over the coming months but one thing is for sure, it is not a good day for baseball.