Heath Bell? Check. Jose Reyes? They’re still trying. C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle? Maybe. An investigation by the SEC? Safe to say that wasn’t on the Marlins’ wish list this offseason.
According to a report in the Miami Herald, federal authorities have opened a “wide-ranging investigation” into the Marlins’ ballpark deal with Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami. Specifically, the SEC is demanding financial information regarding nearly $500 million in bond sales and records of campaign contributions from the Marlins to local and state elected leaders.
The county and the city have until January 6 to fork over a host of documentation on the stadium deal, including minutes of meetings between government leaders and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and MLB commissioner Bud Selig and records of Marlins’ finances dating back to 2007.
The subpoenas focus heavily on the Marlins, requesting communications to and from team executives, documentation that might show the team’s ability to pay for or contribute to the financing of the stadium, and information on any meetings involving not only Loria and Selig, but also team President David Samson and former Major League Baseball president and chief operating officer Robert DuPuy. DuPuy was instrumental at the latter end of the hard-fought deal.
The new taxpayer-funded stadium, which is set to open next season, left the county and city on the hook for almost 80 percent of the $634 million price tag. This investigation comes just weeks after a report in the Miami Herald revealed that the stadium will cost taxpayers more money than originally pitched by politicians.
Marlins president David Samson told the Herald that the team has yet to receive a subpoena and merely said “Appreciate the info.” when asked to comment on the investigation.
Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.
Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.
The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.
Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.
While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.
Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.