NEW YORK - Injured New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball are negotiating a deal that would result in a lengthy suspension instead of a permanent ban, ESPN reported Wednesday night.
According to the "Outside the Lines" report, a source familiar with the discussions said representatives for the three-time AL Most Valuable Player and 14-time All-Star are talking with league officials.
The ESPN story said some baseball officials want the 38-year-old Rodriguez to be banned for life. Until now, his attorney has said he will fight any suspension or ban.
The network also reported that Rodriguez has been shown the evidence against him, including documentation that Rodriguez coerced a witness in MLB's performance-enhancing drugs investigation.
Those allegations claim Rodriguez had ties with the now-closed anti-aging Biogenesis clinic in Florida and its founder, Anthony Bosch.
In an interview with CNN earlier this month, the player denied any plea negotiations and didn't say whether he would fight an adverse decision
Rodriguez, now recovering from an injury, is considered one of the game's greatest sluggers. He has 647 home runs -- the fifth most-ever -- in 19 seasons. In 2009, he had an outstanding postseason in helping the Yankees win their most recent World Series title.
He holds the largest contract ever in American sports, signing with the Yankees in 2007 for $275 million over 10 years.
He has admitted in the past to using performance-enhancing drugs, but he also has denied taking any after 2003. He has never been suspended by the league for a drug violation.
Rodriguez is supposed to take part in a practice game at the Yankees training facility in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday.
The Biogenesis scandal has already to have ensnared one star: 2011 National League MVP and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
Earlier this month Braun was suspended without pay for the rest of this season for violating the league's drug policy, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced.
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