Some new details emerging from the Biogenesis story. ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish spoke to a source who claims that Alex Rodriguez got special treatment from the Biogenesis clinic. Owner Anthony Bosch, Quinn and Fish’s source says, would personally go to A-Rod’s Miami home and inject him with HGH.
Bosch and A-Rod have denied everything related to the reports of these past few days, of course. It’s also worth noting that Quinn and Fish’s source tells of a time last year when A-Rod allegedly got mad at Bosch after Bosch “had trouble locating a vein,” despite the fact that HGH injections are not intravenous (Quinn and Fish note this disconnect).
Also of note, no one down in Miami can confirm that the DEA has opened an investigation at all and there is no evidence of an ongoing investigation. It’s possible that the DEA is just playing it cool and operating with unusual stealthiness. It’s also possible that, while this is a big story for baseball, the DEA in Miami (or all places) has bigger fish to fry than a now-closed anti-aging clinic.
That part is of some significance. For only the government has subpoena power here. Bud Selig does not. And if the government is not involved in this, or is not moving particularly quickly, Major League Baseball is unlikely to have more at its disposal than (a) a newspaper report; (b) copies of uncorroborated medical records; and (c) the denials of all the players involved.
If so, could they even suspend these guys on a “just cause” basis pursuant to the Joint Drug Agreement?
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.
Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.
Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.