On Saturday Alex Rodriguez was given the longest doping-related suspension by Major League Baseball’s arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. With the entire 2014 season out of the question for the Yankee third baseman, a new offer has surfaced.
The Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks have invited A-Rod play for them during the Summer. Since the Ducks have no affiliation with Major League Baseball any player can join the roster even with a suspension as harsh as 162 games. If a deal actually goes through, Rodriguez would join a long list of major league talent who laced up their cleats in Central Islip’s Bethpage Park.
"While some MLB suspensions have been honored by the Atlantic League in the past, if Alex Rodriguez were unable to participate in the Major Leagues this season, we would be open to exploring giving him a chance to play, stay sharp and compete against a high level of competition while helping the Ducks chase a third consecutive championship," Michael Pfaff, the Ducks president and general manager, told Newsday in an e-mail.
If Alex Rodriguez hopes to play this season an independent team like the Ducks would be his only option. Leagues in Japan and Korea honor MLB suspensions. Even with this offer on the table, the Yankees would still have to give A-Rod permission to play. He’s owed a hefty sum of cash so it doesn’t seem likely they’ll have him risk serious injury playing for a team other than theirs.
The Ducks major signing last year was Dontrelle Willis. In 2013 Willis went 5-4 with a 2.56 ERA. The former Rookie of the Year is no longer with the team though as he signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants for the upcoming season.