One thing MLB seems determined to do is suspend multiple players twice for actions relating to the same offense, namely taking PEDs and then lying about not having taken them. Could that strategy work?
It's probably going to be extremely difficult. For one thing, baseball has never tried this. For another, the union will likely mount a hellacious challenge to that approach. More on this in a bit.
Melky Cabrera, Colon, and Grandal have all already served suspensions for violations of the league's drug policy. Is this kind of double penalty covered anywhere in the Joint Drug Agreement? If not, on what grounds would the league propose to have a double penalty (i.e., 100 games for first-time offenders rather than 50) stick?
This strategy could also become problematic. As Thurm explains, unless authenticated and verified Biogenesis documents link a previously suspended player to use, possession, sale, or distribution of PEDs separate from the drugs that had triggered earlier positive tests, a second suspension could amount to a second punishment for the same, initial violation. If MLB were to adopt the A-Rod–and–Braun approach, it could seek both the PED-use penalty and the lying penalty against Cabrera, Colon, and Grandal. All three have already been suspended once, and two more suspensions would equal three, which, according to MLB's drug policy, would trigger a lifetime ban. Since it's not at all clear if Cabrera, Colon, and Grandal violated the league's policy in an incident separate from the one for which they've already been nailed, there's an absurd scenario by which they could be forever stripped of their ability to play in the majors as a result of, essentially, a single transgression.