Time and money were the issues that stalled talks between Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball about a possible suspension, according to ESPN.
Citing two unnamed sources described as "familiar with the talks," T.J. Quinn and Andrew Marchand of ESPN reported on Thursday that the length of the ban as well as the amount of money that Rodriguez would still be able to receive from his current contract with the New York Yankees were the sticking points.
MLB is reportedly aiming to announce all suspensions following its investigation into anti-aging clinic Biogenesis by Monday, according to The Associated Press. Rodriguez and Biogenesis have been at the center of MLB's latest scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs since the Miami New Times published documents purportedly chronicling the use of performance-enhancing drugs -- including human growth hormone and anabolic steroids -- by several prominent players.
Rodriguez's camp may have been forced to the bargaining table by media reports that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was considering a lifetime ban against the three-time American League MVP if no settlement was reached. Citing two unnamed sources with knowledge of the negotiations, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reported on Wednesday that Selig was prepared to hit Rodriguez with a lifetime suspension as well as suspend eight other players. A subsequent report by The Associated Press on Wednesday also indicated that Rodriguez was being threatened with such a ban but that it could be avoided if the 38-year-old agreed to serve a lengthy suspension without an appeal.
The New York Daily News reported on Sunday that Rodriguez had been offered a deal that would force him to sit out the remainder of the 2013 season as well as all of 2014. Citing an unnamed source described as "familiar with the discussions between MLB officials and A-Rod’s representatives," the Daily News reported that a lifetime ban could be sought if such a deal were not agreed upon.
On Thursday evening, Rodriguez's camp preferred to try its luck with the appeals process rather than agree to a deal that could potentially keep him off the field until 2015, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Such a strategy would be in line with previous comments made by Rodriguez lawyer David Cornwell.
"We're still involved in the process of preparing for an eventual appeal in this matter," Cornwell said Monday on ESPN New York Radio, via The Associated Press. "My understanding is that the next step that is going to be taken is that the players' association and baseball will meet to discuss the investigation and baseball's focus on particular players. So we'll see how that process plays out. But at this point my understanding or my expectation is that we're going to be working through the process towards an appeal."