NEW YORK — Several angry major league players wanted Alex Rodriguez kicked out of their union after he sued it last week, but staff lawyers told them expulsion was not allowed.
The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrator’s decision suspending him for the 2014 season and postseason.
Details were first reported Tuesday by Yahoo Sports and later confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the call. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The union and Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz declined comment.
All players in the major leagues are members of the union and pay $65 daily in dues, or $11,895 if a player is in the big leagues for a full season. Baseball’s labor contract specifies the union is “the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all major league players.”
The union will incur costs of defending the lawsuit by the New York Yankees third baseman, who claimed in the suit it “breached its duty of fair representation to Mr. Rodriguez.”
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on Aug. 5, and the union filed a grievance contending the discipline was without “just cause.” The penalty was reduced to 162 games plus the 2014 postseason by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who concluded Rodriguez violated baseball’s drug agreement each year from 2010-12 and twice obstructed MLB’s investigation in violation of the sport’s labor contract.
Rodriguez agreed to a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees after the 2007 season. Horowitz’s decision cost Rodriguez $22.13 million of his $25 million salary this year; the three-time AL MVP is owed $61 million by the Yankees from 2015-17.
Phils sign Abreu, Gaudin
PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies reunited with outfielder Bobby Abreu on Tuesday and signed right-hander Chad Gaudin.
Both players signed a minor league contract and will be invited to spring training.
The 39-year-old Abreu was a two-time All-Star with the Phillies in 2004-05. He was traded to the New York Yankees in 2006 and didn’t play in the majors last year. Abreu could fill Philadelphia’s need for a left-handed hitter off the bench. He hit .322 in 50 games in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2013.
Gaudin was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 30 games last year for the San Francisco Giants. He made 12 starts and held hitters to a .227 batting average. The Phillies announced the move on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Gaudin began last season with 18 relief appearances and posted a 2.05 ERA in those games before moving to the starting rotation in June. His season ended in mid-August when he was placed on the disabled list with carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Phillies also agreed to a $2 million deal with left-hander Antonio Bastardo on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.
Metal detectors at parks by ‘15
NEW YORK — Entering a big league ballpark will be a bit like going through an airport by 2015.
Major League Baseball has told its 30 teams they must implement security screening for fans by then, either with hand-held metal detection or walk-through magnetometers.
MLB spokesman Michael Teevan says “This procedure, which results from MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security to standardize security practices across the game, will be in addition to bag checks.”
The Seattle Mariners announced Tuesday that fans entering Safeco Field will have to walk through metal detectors starting with this year’s opener.