NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Mets ace Matt Harvey says he’s eager to see how Alex Rodriguez responds on the field after a yearlong suspension from baseball.

A-Rod will pull on the pinstripes for the first time since September 2013 when he reports to spring training in Tampa, Fla. later this month. The disgraced New York Yankees slugger was suspended the entire 2014 season for violating MLB’s drug policy.

“Obviously Alex wants to play, that’s good for him, good for baseball,” Harvey told the New York Post on Wednesday.

A-Rod has apologized to new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Yankees executives for his role — and subsequent actions, including lawsuits against the league, team and players’ union — in baseball’s Biogenesis-PED scandal.

“If he is that dedicated and wants to come back then more power to him for going up to the organization like that, it shows a lot,” Harvey told the Post. “It will be exciting to see what he can do.”

Rodriguez, with two surgically repaired hips, is just six shy of Willie Mays’ 660 career home runs, though the Yankees reportedly told the 39-year-old that they don’t plan to pay him a $6 million milestone bonus for hitting the mark. He’s expected to serve as the team’s full-time designated hitter with Chase Headley manning his old spot at third base.

Harvey is coming off a season-long layoff of his own after Tommy John surgery. He said he’s looking forward to resuming a crosstown rivalry with the Yankees in the Subway Series.


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