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MLB May Suspend A-Rod Under Labor Deal

Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera are among the players whose names have been tied to the clinic. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera are among the players whose names have been tied to the clinic. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball may try to suspend Alex Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of its drug rules, The Associated Press has learned.

Why does that matter? Because if MLB goes ahead with the suspension under the labor deal, it means the Yankees slugger would lose virtually any chance of delaying the penalty while he appeals the case.

Rodriguez has never been disciplined for a drug offense, and a first offender under baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement is entitled to an automatic stay if the players’ union files a grievance. That means the penalty is put on hold until after an arbitrator rules.

But a person familiar with management’s deliberations told the AP that MLB could skirt that problem by punishing Rodriguez for other alleged violations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because no statements were authorized.

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