A “well-known” retired ballplayer is the focus of an insider trading probe

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A lot of ballplayers retire comfortably in sunny California. Some, the Securities and Exchange Commission believe, may be retiring too comfortably:

An ongoing insider trading investigation by U.S. prosecutors in Los Angeles is focusing on a retired, well-known baseball player and several other former athletes whose names have not yet been disclosed, said two people familiar with the situation.

The former athletes under scrutiny – mainly a group of professional baseball players – are allegedly part of what one U.S. investigatory government official described as “a loose federation of people” sharing important market-moving information about various companies before it becomes public.

Last year former Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces got popped for $2.5 million for trading on an inside tip.  I grew up with the guy, but I’m not sure that I’d call him a “well-known” baseball player, so it’s likely a bigger name than that.

Wouldn’t it blow your mind if it was Canseco? And he was playing crazy in order to hide the fact that he was masterminding a sophisticated insider trading ring?  That would be pretty cool.

(thanks to Dennis T. for the heads up)

Adrian Gonzalez might retire after his contract is up if his back isn’t any better

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Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:

“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.

“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”

Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.