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 Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.
Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.
The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.
Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.