MLB hopes for new drug deal this week

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez arrives at the offices of Major League Baseball, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 in New York. The grievance to overturn Rodriguez's 211-game suspension began Monday before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. (AP Photo/David Karp)
New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez arrives at the offices of Major League Baseball, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 in New York. The grievance to overturn Rodriguez's 211-game suspension began Monday before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. (AP Photo/David Karp)

NEW YORK (AP) – People familiar with the negotiations tell The Associated Press that baseball players and management hope to reach a new drug agreement this week that would increase initial penalties for muscle-building steroids and decrease suspensions for some positive tests caused by unintentional use.

The deal would also eliminate the loophole allowing Alex Rodriguez to earn almost $4 million during his season-long ban, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in recent days because talks are ongoing.

The sides hope to reach an agreement by Sunday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers open the U.S. portion of the major league schedule at the San Diego Padres.

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