Surprise: A-Rod drops suits against MLB and MLBPA

Surprise: A-Rod drops suits against MLB and MLBPA
February 7, 2014, 5:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

This is pretty unexpected. Alex Rodriguez has filed a notice with the court dismissing his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the MLBPA.  It’s a voluntary dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i), which means that he can re-file it at a later date if he wishes to.

There is no explanation with the notice as to why A-Rod dismissed the suit. There can be any number of explanations, actually. Some tactical, I presume, but there is no obvious advantage to him doing this now apart from the fact that he was supposed to respond today to the MLBPA’s motion to have the claims against it dismissed. Now he doesn’t need to. But he will if and when he brings the suit again. And, of course, if he doesn’t, his suspension stands as-is and it’s the same as if he’s lost the case.

Major League Baseball just issued the following statement. It believes this is over for good:

 “We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter.  We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players.  We share that desire.”

And it may very well be.  One reason parties might dismiss a case without prejudice: settlement talks are afoot. I wouldn’t believe for a second that settlement talks between A-Rod and MLB are going on now — why would MLB bother? — but maybe A-Rod and the union are talking for some reason.  Another possibility: A-Rod didn’t file the case seeking injunctive relief (i.e. seeking an immediate order to have his suspension stopped and a quick hearing on the matter). Perhaps he refiles in order to get such an order.

Another possibility? A-Rod wants everything to just stop. He — or his lawyers — are leaving an out in case minds change sometime soon, but if A-Rod woke up this morning, called his lawyers and said “stop the case, I’m done” this is what they’d probably file. Followed by a dismissal with prejudice once everyone had a chance to meet and talk about it.

But no matter the motivation, my guess is that the Biogenesis case is over.

-- Craig Calcaterra, NBC's Hardball Talk