The process to decide New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez‘s fate reportedly begins on Sept. 30. 

The news came courtesy of Newsday‘s Steven Marcus:

Marcus added a few more details:

Following an investigation into the Biogenesis of America clinic, which had reportedly supplied MLB players with illegal performance-enhancing drugs, the league suspended 13 players, including Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was given the harshest penalty, a 211-game suspension that would keep him away from the game through the end of the 2014 season.

He was the only one to file an appeal. 

It was originally suspected that arbitrator Fredric Horowitz wouldn’t make a ruling until November or December, thus allowing Rodriguez to play through the rest of the season and potentially in the postseason. 

With the arbitration process now scheduled to begin on the day after the last game of the regular season, things may change significantly, depending on how long the process takes.

The polarizing 38-year-old has given the Yankees far more stability at third base than they’ve had all season, hitting .275/.368/.451 with four home runs, 10 RBI and 14 runs scored in 28 games since returning from a hip injury. 

New York currently trails Tampa Bay by just 2.5 games for the second wild-card spot, and if the Yankees are able to crack the postseason, having Rodriguez at the hot corner will be crucial. 

For now, we will play the waiting game while Rodriguez’s future hangs in the balance. 

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