That story in which Melky Cabrera’s agents — the Levinsons — are alleged to have facilitated clients’ acquisition of PEDs by setting up checking accounts and things? It’s being corroborated, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The problem? The chief corroborator is Kirk Radomski:
“I will corroborate the relationship I had with Paul and the Levinsons,” Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse attendant, said in a telephone interview. “I met players through their agents. I met players through other players.”
Obviously Radomski would be in a position to know — he’s the PED dealer at the center of the allegations, so what he says is relevant. But he also has extreme credibility problems. His testimony at the Roger Clemens trial was pretty destructive to the government’s case. Mostly because it differed from his testimony before the grand jury. Which differed from the accounts in the book he wrote (and for which he received a $450,000 advance).
While MLB took Radomski’s word as gospel for the Mitchell Report, one would hope that if baseball is going to make a case against the Levinsons for being in the PED business, it’s going to rely on someone besides Radomski to do so.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.