Potent quotables: Romero responds to accusation

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“What did he say? That he was drunk
and got into a fight? I’m not going to comment on it. I’m trying to be
professional and I don’t really want to get into that. Don’t want to
make a story out of nothing.”

– J.C. Romero reacts to an accusation that he assaulted a fan after Thursday’s game.

“The fact I don’t think I can help
the team like I wanted to, every day on the field. It got to the point
it’s really painful. My contribution won’t be enough to help the team
win. Hopefully I can get it fixed and come back 100 percent. I talked
to my family, discussed it. I came to conclusion last night I was going
to do it, and came in early and told Skip.”

– Adrian Beltre explains his decision to have surgery
to remove bone spurs in his left shoulder. The surgery, which will
likely end his season, is scheduled for Tuesday. Beltre could have one
final appearance on Sunday.

“Terrible. But we got a win, who cares? The guys picked me up.”

– Homer Bailey talks about his wild performance
against the Indians on Saturday night. The former top prospect walked
seven while throwing just 54 of 106 pitches for strikes, but still got
his first win in nearly two years.

“It’s going to be hard for us to
score runs, no doubt about it, with where we are right now offensively.
We’ll need a break here or there or error or something like that to
amass any type of threat at this point.”

– A befuddled Jerry Manuel is left looking for answers after the Mets were one-hit by A.J. Burnett on Saturday night.

“There’s not much I can do. I just write the line-up … the rest is up to him. I ain’t giving him no bunt sign or nothing.”

– Inland Empire 66ers manager Carlos Subero reflects on the unique assignment
of including Manny Ramirez in his lineup. Ramirez homered in his first
at-bat on Saturday night. Currently serving a 50-game suspension, he is
scheduled to rejoin the Dodgers on July 3.

Phil Bickford suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10:  Phil Bickford of the U.S. Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.

Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.

Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.

Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):

We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.