A-Rod might consider reduced ban

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NEW YORK -- For Alex Rodriguez, the decision of whether to accept a suspension or fight on comes down to dollars and sense.

As the day for arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to rule on Rodriguez's appeal of his 211-game ban draws near -- some think it could come as soon as Friday -- the beleaguered slugger has discussed the possibility of accepting a reduced ban without attempting to get an injunction delaying his punishment, according to a source in Rodriguez's camp.

According to the source, a suspension longer than 100 games will likely lead Rodriguez and his attorneys to pursue a temporary restraining order against Horowitz's ruling in federal court.

If he is given a shorter suspension, however, "then Alex will have some things to think about," the source told ESPNNewYork.com.

According to the source, who has been privy to some internal discussions in the Rodriguez camp, the player is weighing the financial implications of continuing to fight this battle versus accepting a suspension that will allow him to take the field sometime in the second half of the coming season.

Taking his battle into the courtroom will cost Rodriguez "at least $10 million, with no guarantee of winning," said the source, while a 100-game ban would cost him $15,425,000 of his scheduled $25 million salary for 2014.

"All of this has been presented to Alex, and he is weighing his options," the source said. "In certain situations it may not make much sense to continue to fight."

Previously, Rodriguez and his attorneys had vowed to fight any suspension -- "I shouldn't even serve one inning," he said in November after storming out of the hearing room upon learning that MLB commissioner Bud Selig would not have to testify -- but clearly that position has softened in the nearly six weeks since the hearing recessed.

According to the source, Rodriguez has been soliciting opinions from his lawyers and advisers on what course to pursue once Horowitz announces his decision and has given indications he is receptive to accepting a reduced punishment rather than tie up more time and money in court.

"It's not just a matter of money," the source said. "It's also about the mental anguish of going through this and not knowing if or when you're going to play again. Alex might decide to take his medicine and move on."

A source close to the situation told ESPN's Karl Ravech on Thursday night that it is "too late" for Rodriguez to negotiate any reduced suspension.

Rodriguez's spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, responded: "We have not asked to negotiate, have not thought about negotiating and the facts, in any of these stories that state this, are inaccurate "

Representatives for Major League Baseball and the players' association declined to provide information as to when Horowitz might announce his decision, and sources in Rodriguez's camp said they had not been put on alert that a verdict was forthcoming.

But now that the annual Hall of Fame announcement has passed and the newly elected players -- Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas -- have held New York news conferences, it is expected that Horowitz will announce his decision shortly, perhaps as soon as Friday.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand was used in this report.

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