The hearing could reportedly take “several days” and arbitrator Fredric Horowitz will have “25 days to render his decision.” Rodriguez will not be forced to attend the hearings unless Horowitz requests his presence.
Something that could throw a wrench in the schedule is the Yankees making the playoffs. If that happens, Rodriguez wouldn’t be available to participate in the hearings. And since he has the right to be present during the proceedings, the hearings will be pushed back according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
Marchand also points out that the Yankees are really concerned about when a resolution to all of this takes place. If the Yankees do make the playoffs and make a deep run, their 2014 payroll could be in limbo.
The timing of Horowitz’s decision could have an impact on the Yankees’ offseason plans. Team owner Hal Steinbrenner has made it a goal to drop the Yankees’ payroll under $189 million to take advantage of revenue sharing and luxury tax benefits from the current collective bargaining agreement.
Rodriguez, 38, is due to make $25 million next season. He is also in line to collect a $6 million bonus if he ties Willie Mays for fourth all time on the home run list. He entered Friday nine shy of Mays, with 651 career homers.
The Yankees could go into the winter not knowing how much of Rodriguez’s $25 million will count toward their payroll. During a suspension, he would not be paid, and the money would not count toward the Yankees’ payroll. Each game he is suspended is worth roughly $154,000.
So in other words, everyone wants this to be over as soon as possible. But there’s a chance that this drags out well into the winter.