2/7/2014 6:19 P.M. ET
A-Rod ends litigation against MLB, MLBPA
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez and his legal team have withdrawn their lawsuits against Major League Baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig and the Major League Baseball Players Association, indicating that the Yankees third baseman is ready to accept his season-long suspension.
Notices of dismissal in two lawsuits were filed by Rodriguez's attorneys on Friday in federal court in Manhattan. Rodriguez will sit out the entire 2014 season, including the postseason, and does not plan to attend Spring Training with the Yankees.
One of Rodriguez's attorneys, Joe Tacopina, said that it was Rodriguez's decision to serve the 162-game ban and put the situation behind him. Tacopina said that Rodriguez is focusing on the 2015 season and hopes to be welcomed back to the Yankees' clubhouse.
"We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter," Major League Baseball said in a statement. "We believe that Mr. Rodriguez's actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players. We share that desire."
The MLBPA also said in a statement: "Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit. His decision to move forward is in everyone's best interest."
Rodriguez, 38, was suspended for 211 games last Aug. 5, a ban stemming from multiple violations of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement. The penalty was reduced to 162 games by independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz last month.
MLB sought the suspension based on what the league said was evidence that Rodriguez obtained illegal performance-enhancing substances from Anthony Bosch and the now-shuttered Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in South Florida. MLB also claimed that Rodriguez sought to hinder the league's investigation.
Rodriguez and his attorneys denied all allegations, and he was permitted to play out the remainder of the 2013 season by exercising his right to appeal. But Horowitz upheld the suspension after the season, citing "clear and convincing evidence" that Rodriguez used banned substances and attempted to thwart MLB's investigation.
In response, Rodriguez said that he planned to appeal the decision at the federal level, again denying use of performance-enhancing drugs. In a statement released at the time, Rodriguez complained that "the deck has been stacked against me from day one."
Suits against MLB and the MLBPA were filed on Jan. 13 in federal court in Manhattan, a filing that unsealed the text of Horowitz's 33-page decision against Rodriguez.
Thirteen other players were suspended for alleged ties to Biogenesis; of that group, Rodriguez was the only player who did not immediately accept his suspension. Twelve players agreed to 50-game suspensions, while the Brewers' Ryan Braun served a 65-game ban.
Rodriguez will forfeit $22,131,147 of his 2014 base salary of $25 million. The '14 Major League season is defined as lasting 183 days, and with Rodriguez suspended for 162 games, he will be paid nearly $3 million for the remaining 21 days.
His contract calls for an additional $61 million in base salaries from '15-'17, and Rodriguez also received $3 million from the Yankees last month -- part of the signing bonus he got when he inked his current contract in '07.
Rodriguez ranks fifth on baseball's all-time home run list with 654 home runs, six shy of tying Willie Mays.
In his first public comments after Horowitz's ruling, Rodriguez spoke to reporters at the opening of a gym in Mexico City and seemed to suggest that he was preparing to sit out the 2014 campaign.
"I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I've played 20 years without a timeout," Rodriguez said in Spanish on Jan. 15, according to a video aired by ESPN. "I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life."
With Rodriguez deleted from the roster, the Yankees are considering using a platoon at third base, with veteran Kelly Johnson in line for regular duty. The Yankees are also considering Eduardo Nunez, Scott Sizemore and Dean Anna to help replace Rodriguez on the field.