If Alex Rodriguez returns to the Yankees next year labor attorneys David Prouty and Ian Penny can claim a big piece of the victory.

The two lawyers from the Major League Baseball Players Association will spearhead Rodriguez’s campaign to save his career when his arbitration battle begins on Monday. Prouty and Penny may not have seen their name in lights these past few months but unlike the high-profile litigators speaking for A-Rod the last few weeks Prouty and Penny will have a clear procedural role in the hearings.

The mission for Prouty and Penny will be to persuade independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to overturn or reduce the historic 211-game ban that baseball commissioner Bud Selig imposed on Rodriguez last month for his role in the Biogenesis doping scandal. Their main challenge is the overwhelming evidence Selig’s people gathered that A-Rod cheated repeatedly and interfered with the league’s Biogenesis investigation.

Rodriguez’s personal attorneys may participate in the cross-examination of some of the league’s witnesses — chiefly Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch — but for a significant portion of the proceedings they will be on the sidelines.

Horowitz is the swing vote on the three-person arbitration panel that will determine Rodriguez’s fate. The other two panelists are Prouty and Rob Manfred a league vice-president lawyer and right-hand man to the commissioner.

In joining the panel Prouty replaces MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner whose health has recently declined. Weiner who has long been Manfred’s counterpart across the table in baseball’s labor disputes is suffering from the effects of a brain tumor.