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.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.