New York Yankees starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws a pitch to the Boston Red Sox in New York

Bartolo Colon declines to discuss stem cell procedure

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Bartolo Colon’s elbow procedure in the Dominican Republic was naturally the topic du jour as he took on the Red Sox last night.

The rejuvenated right-hander topped out at 95.6 mph on his fastball during the outing, which brought out Tweets like this one from Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Colon hitting 96? Those must be some good stem cells.

Colon gave up three runs — two earned — on five hits over six-plus innings while striking out four and walking three in a losing effort.

According to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, Colon was asked about his elbow procedure after the game, but referred all questions to the players’ union.

“They know the right and wrong of the situation,” Colon said through an interpreter. “They know more so you can get anything that you may need from them.”

I’m a moron when it comes to this sort of thing, but everything I’ve read suggests this procedure wasn’t far off from platelet rich plasma injections, which have become commonplace in recent years. Why didn’t Takashi Saito have to answer these same questions back in 2008? It could be that Colon’s doctor has been connected to HGH in the past, but I also think that “stem cells” remains one of those buzz phrases that gets people all worked up for nothing.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.