The DEA is investigating the Padres' doctors over prescription drug policies

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San Diego Padres team doctors — as well as team doctors for the San Diego Chargers — are under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency over the “correctness” of how they regulate prescription
drugs, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. As part of this investigation, the DEA served 10 warrants on various team offices and facilities yesterday, including Padres’ HQ.

What, exactly, they’re investigating is rather murky. What we do know is that a Chargers’ player — Kevin Ellison — was stopped for a traffic violation a few weeks ago and 100 Vicodins were found in his car, and generally speaking, people don’t have 100 Vicodins with them at a time.

A lot of football and baseball teams which share a city share at least some part of their medical staffs too, so it’s possible that the search of Padres facilities is related to football stuff.  Of course, since the Chargers are in the NFL and, based on everything I’ve read in the past seven or eight years, the NFL has no drug problems whatsoever, it’s probably another baseball plot designed to ruin America’s hopes and dreams.

All we really know at this point is that we don’t know anything.

Shohei Otani may come to the United States after 2017

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Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?

Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.

It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.

Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.