Guess those AP reports were true. Fredric Horowitz's decision is in and it's the one I expected. As first reported by Andrew Marchand, Alex Rodriguez had his suspension reduced to 162 games and will be suspended for the entire 2014 season.
The report actually came from A-Rod's spokesman, so it still has not been "officially" announced by the arbitrator or MLB. Regardless, A-Rod's camp is already issuing their statement on the matter and according to multiple beat writers they still intend to move forward with their plan to fight this decision with a court injunction.
As far as the Yankees are concerned, they will not be on the hook for $25 million of Alex's salary this season and will save $27.5 million for luxury tax purposes. Now that the suspension length is known, they can move forward with the rest of their offseason schedule, which hopefully still includes an outside upgrade at third base. More on this story as it comes out.
** UPDATE 11:01 AM- First part of A-Rod's statement on the decision:
"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable."
The whole statement can be found here. More updates after the jump.
** UPDATE 11:18 AM- Via Joel Sherman, statement by the MLB Players Union on the decision says they "strongly disagree" with it but "respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process that led to the decision." **
** UPDATE 11:53 AM- The latest:
- MLB announced that the season-long suspension would include the postseason.
- MLB also issued their official statement on the decision, and it was basically their version of the MLBPA statement. They thought the decision was fair but they respect the process. Blah, blah blah.
- Via Marchand, A-Rod is still planning on attending Yankee Spring Training. I would be shocked if the team allowed that happen.
This thing is still far from over. And it's not going to get any less ugly than it already is. **
** UPDATE 12:57 PM- Via Steven Marcus, Joe Tacopina said a lawsuit against MLB on A-Rod's behalf will be filed Monday. **