MLBPA backs its defense of A-Rod

Lawyers for the Major League Baseball Players Association have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the union by suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the New York Daily News has reported.

Rodriguez sued MLBPA on Jan. 13 -- two days after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz cut his suspension from 211 games to 162 games and the 2014 postseason -- saying its representation during his arbitration hearing was "perfunctory at best" and that it acted in "bad faith."

Union lawyers, however, fired back, saying in a four-page letter sent to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos that Horowitz's decision to cut the suspension "demonstrates the union's forceful advocacy throughout the arbitration," according to the Daily News.

Ramos has asked that Rodriguez and his lawyers respond to the letter by Friday.

The sides are scheduled to meet in Manhattan federal court Feb. 14.