Did A-Rod throw his cousin under the financial bus?

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Remember back in the spring how Alex Rodriguez said that it was his cousin, Yuri Sucart, who was the one that supplied him with his PEDs? Well, he’s had a worse go of it since then than A-Rod has:

Banks
began foreclosure proceedings on Yuri Sucart’s Miami home and three
South Florida rental properties in the months after Rodriguez’s Feb. 17
news conference . . . US Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings on
Sucart’s two-bedroom home on Aug. 12 . . . Deutsche Bank
began foreclosure proceedings on April 3 on a four-bedroom apartment
Sucart purchased in February of 2005. Wachovia Mortgage initiated
foreclosure proceedings against two other rental properties owned by
Sucart and his wife in July.

The Daily News article does
its best to paint A-Rod as responsible for all of this, essentially
saying that he treated Sucart like a drug mule and then cast him aside
when the drug revelations hit.  That whole narrative is broken,
however, by a quote buried sixteen paragraphs into the story: “A friend
of A-Rod’s who spoke on condition of anonymity says Sucart
still works for the Yankee superstar. ‘Alex takes care of his family,’
the friend says.”

It’s entirely possible that, like any other number of property owners
who are upside down on their mortgage in depressed markets like South
Florida, Sucart and/or Rodriguez made the judgment that it’s preferable to simply walk away and let the bank have property that is worth way less than its outstanding indebtedness rather than continue to throw good money after bad.
Such a strategy comes with its own set of moral and ethical issues, of course, but
it’s something that’s done all the time, and is even counseled by a lot
of legitimate financial advisers under such circumstances.

Moreover, such a strategy fits into the “Alex takes care of his family” narrative
in ways that the “A-Rod is a heartless man who threw his cousin under
the bus” does not. But since the Daily News has spent the past several
years demonizing every PED-connected player in baseball, there’s no way
that they’d ever take that angle.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.

Nationals acquire Derek Norris from Padres

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 01:  Derek Norris #3 of the San Diego Padres prepares to bat against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a MLB game at Chase Field on October 1, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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According to an official team announcement, the Nationals have acquired catcher Derek Norris from the Padres in exchange for right-hander Pedro Avila.

Norris, 27, batted a career-low .186/.225/.328 in 458 PA with the Padres in 2016. He hit career highs with 14 home runs and nine stolen bases, but his dismal production rate through the second half of the season spelled the end of his time in a starting role in San Diego. Norris’ departure from the Padres also confirms 24-year-old Austin Hedges‘ spot on the roster, as reported by MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell:

Heading to San Diego is 19-year-old right-handed starter Pedro Avila, who was acquired by the Nationals as an international free agent in 2014. The 19-year-old spent his first season in Single-A Hagerstown and went 7-7 with a 3.48 ERA and 2.42 K/BB rate in 93 innings.