The Jose Reyes-HGH doc thing actually reflects pretty well on the Mets' medical staff

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As was reported over the weekend, Jose Reyes was questioned by the FBI about his association with a Canadian doctor who is under investigation
for drug violations, including conspiring to smuggle human growth
hormone into the United States from Canada. Unless Reyes was dumb enough to lie to the FBI he’s probably not in any legal trouble. But based on an account of Reyes’ visit to Canada that ran in the New York Times last December, I’m guessing that some members of the Mets’ medical staff will be talking to the FBI soon:

In the case of Reyes, a two-time All-Star, Mets officials tried to
change Greenberg’s mind about sending him to Galea. They relented
because under the collective bargaining agreement, players have a right
to see a doctor of their choice, and Reyes was clear about wanting to
go. So shortly after the All-Star break, Greenberg and an official from
the Mets’ medical staff traveled to Toronto with Reyes, who received
plasma therapy there from Galea.

The Mets insisted on having a
member of their medical staff on the trip because they wanted someone
to be with Reyes and Galea at all times. Uneasy with the situation,
they wanted to be sure that Galea did not give Reyes any substances
that were banned under baseball’s drug-testing program, said the people
with knowledge of what occurred.

I have two thoughts:

1. For as much as I’ve slammed the Mets’ adventures in the world of medicine recently, kudos to them for doing as much as they could to monitor Reyes’ trip up north to have his blood spun. While there is anecdotal evidence of the procedure working wonders, it’s still an experimental and controversial treatment that could very well serve as a means of introducing PEDs into a player’s system. I’ve read some commentary criticizing the Mets for allowing Reyes to see Dr. Galea, but the fact is the Mets couldn’t stop Reyes from doing this and at least they didn’t just look the other way once their player decided to go see a doctor with some shady associations;

2. Do any of you know anyone at the FBI?  Because, really, as long as the Mets’ doctors are going to be answering questions, perhaps we can arrange it for someone to ask them to give us the straight story on Kelvim Escobar. Something tells me that when faced with the threat of perjury they’ll come off their “he’s right on schedule with his rehab” jazz.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.

White Sox sign catcher Alex Avila to a one-year deal

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dave Clark after his solo home run in the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

There have been a lot of articles published in the past few days about how to navigate awkward Thanksgiving conversations with your relatives. Heck, we even wrote one.

But there’s always room for more! Such as “How to talk to your father at Thanksgiving dinner about the fact that he let you walk away from the only team you’ve ever known to sign with a division rival.” Which is what Alex Avila will likely be talking about with his father, Tigers GM Al Avila:

The older Avila can’t even say he did it because he’s opposed to nepotism. After all, he just hired his other son — who has had his law degree for just over a year — as the Tigers assistant legal counsel for baseball operations. Though I’m sure that wasn’t nepotism. He probably just aced the interview and impressed everyone more than the other candidates did.

OK, those are jokes. In all seriousness, this is a good move for Alex and Al and, probably, the White Sox. With the emergence of James McCann, there really is not space for Alex Avila in Detroit in anything other than a backup capacity. In Chicago, he’ll get more playing time. At least if he can (a) stay healthy; and (b) not hit .191/.339/.287 again like he did in 2015.