Now, the league has offered him a deal: accept a suspension without pay through the end of the 2014 season, or face a lifetime ban.
Both suspensions would be without pay, so Rodriguez has nothing to lose with a suspension. If he accepts the first deal, he would still have a chance to later collect the $61 million the Yankees will owe him for 2015-17.
Rodriguez has said he would fight any potential suspension. The Yankees third-baseman is one of more than a dozen players investigated for their involvement with Biogenesis, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Florida.
The suspension will likely come this week, as early as Tuesday. His return to the Yankees is set for a week from tomorrow, depending on the suspension status.
The Yankees had delayed Rodriguez's return to the team from the disabled list, despite the player saying he was not injured. He has not played this season after undergoing off-season hip surgery. He underwent a minor-league rehab stint and was ready to play until the Yankees postponed his return.
With his injuries and the suspension, the fact that Rodriguez is 38 may be the final nail in his career's coffin. Should he take the suspension, Rodriguez would likely be forced to retire and placed on baseball's permanently unable to play list. The team would then negotiate with insurance companies to determine his final contract payout amount.