Anthony Galea charged with treating NFL players with unapproved drugs

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HGH.jpgDr. Anthony Galea, you will recall, is the Canadian doctor in the cross-hairs of an HGH
investigation emanating from the Buffalo, New York U.S. Attorneys office.  The investigation has made news in baseball circles because investigators on the case interviewed Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes and have attempted — thus far unsuccessfully — to interview Alex Rodriguez.

But baseball isn’t the only sport in which the good Dr. has contacts, and today Galea was charged with unlawfully treating professional football players with unapproved drugs,
including human growth hormone:

The complaint charges the doctor with lying to federal officials,
smuggling, unlawful distribution of HGH, introducing the unapproved drug
actovegin into interstate commerce and conspiracy to defraud the United
States.

According to court documents, Galea’s clients include at least three
National Football League players. One allegedly had two HGH kits
delivered to his home, and another allegedly received actovegin
injections.

The football players remained anonymous in the complaint, though I can’t immediately understand why, seeing as though they will no doubt be witnesses in this case, voluntary or otherwise.  One would assume, wouldn’t one, that if and when the football players’ identities do come out that they’ll be dragged through the mud. Oh, wait, I forgot what sport I was dealing with.

There’s no suggestion that any baseball players were mentioned in the indictment by name or anonymously, which suggests that, much to the i-Team’s chargrin, Dr. Galea wasn’t giving Jose Reyes and others HGH. Of course these charges often get amended multiple times with multiple counts added, so it’s possible that Galea will be accused of distributing to baseball players at a later date.

In any event, let us all sit back, relax and watch Ian O’Connor’s get whiplash from going from relative reason to outrage in the space of about six hours.

The Pirates are, not surprisingly, leaning against trading Andrew McCutchen

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Over the winter there was serious talk about the Pirates trading Andrew McCutchen to the Washington Nationals. His move to left field to allow Starling Marte to take over center further served to make McCutchen a less important part of the Pirates long term plans.

Then the season began, Marte got suspended for PEDs and, after a bumpy start, McCutchen caught fire. He hit .411/.505/.689 in June he has a .333/.444/.561 line in the month of July. For the year he’s now at .292/.384/.507 with 17 homers and 57 RBI. Even with Marte back on the roster, McCutchen is the Pirates’ center fielder. What’s more, the Pirates, after beginning the season slowly have righted the ship somewhat and are now only three games back in the NL Central.

All of which makes this, from Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, unsurprising:

That option is a quite reasonable $14.5 million, so it seems sorta crazy that they wouldn’t pick it up. Of course if they remain coy enough about it for now perhaps someone will bowl them over with an offer. Letting McCutchen walk seems insane. Unloading him for a hefty haul would, well, still be kinda crazy given how popular McCutchen is with the fan base, but not truly insane.

The Brewers are talking to the Tigers about Ian Kinsler, Justin Wilson

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The Brewers were rumored last week to have been “aggressive” in talks for Tigers reliever Justin Wilson. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports, however, that the talks are a bit more wide-ranging than that.

Crasnick says that the two clubs are also discussing Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, potentially in a package deal with Wilson. Crasnick says that the Brewers “would love to have Kinsler,” but their main focus at the moment is pitching help. Of course, the Brewers current second baseman — Jonathan Villar — is hitting a meager .223/.285/.348 in 334 plate appearances.

Kinsler is having a down season for him — .237/.331/.400 — but he’s better than that and, of course, would represent an improvement. He’s under contract through the end of this year but he has a very affordable, $10 million club option for 2018. Wilson will be arbitration-eligible this offseason, so he’s still under team control as well. As such a Kinsler/Wilson package would likely cost the Brewers a high price, so you have to think they’d try to exhaust cheaper options before making such a deal.

The Brewers had been in first place in the NL Central since June 7, but the Cubs caught them yesterday. They’re in a virtual tie, with Chicago percentage points ahead. This should prove to be a very interesting week for the Brewers’ front office.