More on Jose Canseco's subpoena

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Canseco testifying.jpgThe New York Times has an article on the grand jury subpoena Jose Canseco tweeted about yesterday.  Three takeaways:

A lawyer for Canseco said Tuesday that he had been contacted three weeks
ago by a federal prosecutor in Washington who was seeking to serve
Canseco with a subpoena. The prosecutor wanted Canseco to testify before
a grand jury that is investigating whether Clemens committed perjury
when he testified before Congress in February 2008 and denied using
steroids and human growth hormone, the lawyer Greg Emerson said.

Since Canseco knew what this was about beforehand, it means that the shock and surprise in his tweets yesterday was phony, and no doubt calculated for publicity purposes. Should have known better given that he’s the kind of guy who likes to call press conferences every time another player is outed as a steroid user.  Someone remind of this the next time I play up Canseco’s tweets, OK?  Also:

Canseco has repeatedly spoken and written of his own drug use and has
linked several ballplayers to performance-enhancing drugs in two books.
However, he has not directly tied Clemens to the use of illegal
substances. In the book “Vindicated,” which was published in 2008, Canseco said that
he had concluded that Clemens did not use steroids or H.G.H.

I had forgotten that Canseco largely defended — or at least did not directly implicate — Roger Clemens with respect to steroid use in his book and in an affidavit connected to the Clemens congressional testimony. In the comments yesterday a lot of you referenced Canseco’s track record for apparent honesty when it comes to PED allegations.  But couldn’t Canseco’s grand jury testimony end up challenging what most of you think of Clemens and/or Canseco?

After all, if Jose sticks to what he said previously, Clemens’ story is bolstered somewhat, no? I mean, Jose has the goods on everyone, it seems, and given that Roger and Jose were closer that Jose and most of the other people he named, if Canseco says Clemens didn’t do PEDs, doesn’t that mean something?  At the same time, if Canseco ends up implicating Clemens before the grand jury — contradicting what he’s said on numerous occasions — does it not throw into question all of the other non-confirmed claims in the books he wrote and the interviews he gave?  Finally:

Emerson was present when Canseco met with federal agents in April 2008,
two months after the Congressional committee asked the Department of
Justice to investigate Clemens for perjury. At the meeting, Canseco was asked about Clemens’s use of
performance-enhancing drugs and reiterated that he had no knowledge,
Emerson said. Canseco was also asked about Alex Rodriguez’s ties to performance-enhancing drugs and that of other
high-profile baseball players, the lawyer said.

For those keeping score at home, Alex Rodriguez will be questioned by federal agents on Friday. Less than two weeks later, Jose Canseco will be in front of a grand jury where, presumably, he will once again be asked questions about Alex Rodriguez, just as he was in 2008 (and believe me, if a grand jury witness has ever been questioned about something by federal agents before, the prosecutor will ask him about it again).

Hey Mike Lupica! Still want to take shots at A-Rod for “lawyering up? Because from where I’m sitting, A-Rod’s decision to consult with counsel before heading up to Buffalo the day after tomorrow seems like a pretty savvy move if you ask me.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.