NEW YORK -- Inside a Manhattan federal courtroom Thursday, one of Alex Rodriguez's lawyers said that Major League Baseball tried to get the Yankees third baseman "at all costs" to ruin his career and reputation, while MLB's legal team called those claims "overstated, misstated or simply false."

MLB attorney Joseph Baumgarten called Rodriguez's lawsuit against the league "inappropriate" and argued that it doesn't belong in federal court because the allegations fall within the collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing arbitration case between the two parties. MLB will seek to have the case dismissed, while Rodriguez's team will seek to send the case back to state court, where it was originally filed.

Attorney Jordan Siev said some of MLB's conduct in its investigation, which he claimed included threatening and intimidating witnesses and impersonating police officers, could be subject to criminal liability. Rodriguez did not attend the hearing.

"It's ironic," U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield said, "nobody wants to be here, but you're both here."

Both sides will file their motions Friday. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23.

On Aug. 5, MLB suspended Rodriguez 211 games for violations of its drug agreement and labor contract. Rodriguez is challenging the suspension in an ongoing arbitration hearing.