Alex Rodriguez may have stepped foot on a Major League Baseball diamond for the last time.
The Yankees slugger is reportedly facing a lifetime ban because of his connection to Biogenesis, a South Florida clinic accused of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to a number of players.
This weekend reports emerged that MLB officials may be offering Rodriguez a deal to soften the ban, but at age 38 and with his health tenuous, it could be entirely possible that Alex Rodriguez will see his career end without playing again.
The deal reportedly being offered would see Rodriguez suspended for the rest of this season and all of the 2014 season, meaning he would be 39 years old before he is eligible to play again. League officials have reportedly given him until Monday to respond to the offer.
There could be significant financial pressure for Alex Rodriguez to take the deal. He is set to make $60 million between 2015 and 2018 in his current contract with the Yankees, but if he rejects the offer and ends up being banned for life he would forfeit the money.
Sources close to the slugger said he doesn’t seem too keen on taking the deal, however.
“If there is a suspension,” a source told the New York Daily News, “he will fight it.”
Meanwhile, Rodriguez and the Yankees have gone public with their spat over the All-Star player’s rehab. Rodriguez has become increasingly vocal with his criticism of the team, saying he believes they are preventing him from returning to the field as he rehabs from hip surgery.
Last week Rodriguez challenged the team’s decision to keep him on the disabled list after a recent MRI, consulting a doctor who disputed the team’s interpretation but later admitted he had never met Rodriguez.
“The MRI is the MRI. It’s fact. You can’t change the results on an MRI,” the team’s general manager Brian Cashman said on Friday. “So, we’re very comfortable with it, and if anybody wants to utilize the process in place with the union, go right ahead. It’s not something we’re afraid of.”
Sources say if Alex Rodriguez rejects the deal MLB is offering, the league could announce Monday or Tuesday that he is banned for life.