The Associated Press is reporting that MLB may seek to suspend Alex Rodriguez under the collective bargaining agreement, as opposed to the drug agreement, therefore eliminating the automatic stay triggered when an appeal is filed.
Typically, once the players' association appeals a PED-related suspension for a first-time offender—like A-Rod—the player is entitled to an automatic stay of the 50 game suspension while an arbitrator decides the appeal. This is a specific protection in the drug agreement and not part of the collective bargaining agreement.
While use of banned performance-enhancing substances falls under the drug agreement, MLB may argue other alleged violations are punishable under the labor contract, a person familiar with management's deliberations told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
Rodriguez could be punished under Article XII B of the Basic Agreement, which states: "Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law."
Under a CBA suspension, A-Rod would be kept off the field while a grievance is litigated unless his representative specifically ask for a stay and that request is granted. The AP suggests such a scenario would be atypical.
If this is the path MLB pursues, it would be awfully good news for the New York Yankees.
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