Volquez: the drugs were for fertility treatments

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The Reds’ flagship station, 700 WLW, reports that Edinson Volquez has released a statement. The upshot: the drugs he was taking were prescribed by a Dominican doctor to help Volquez and his wife “start a family,” and that the drugs just also happened to be on the MLB-banned drug list.

I’ll defer to a fertility expert on this one, but I wasn’t aware of any male fertility drugs that also appear on baseball’s banned list. There are female fertility drugs that are there — Manny Ramirez took them — but those are used to cycle down from steroids, not to help men make babies.

Is Volquez playing the family man card — the “I was recovering from injury excuse only works for Andy Pettitte, don’t you know — or am I just missing something here?

UPDATEhere’s the entire list of banned substances in Major League Baseball.  Many on the “performance enhancing list” are male hormores, of course.  Quick reference to Wikipedia reveals several of them are used in male fertility treatments as well.

No clue if Volquez was really using them for male fertility treatments or if that’s just an excuse.  Kind of doesn’t matter, though, given that the “whys” of it are irrelevant as far as the drug program is concerned.  And let’s be clear about this: any player who was proceeding on a course of male fertility treatments should damn well have better consulted the union and baseball first to make sure that the admirable goal of wanting to have children was not going to interfere with the admirable goal of wanting to stay within the rules of the game.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.