Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling explains the whole PED thing, says he wasn’t trying to call attention to himself

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Curt Schilling spoke with WEEI’s Rob Bradford last night and gave a thorough explanation of  Someone on the Red Sox Said Schilling Should Take PEDs-gate.

Read the whole thing, but among the key takeaways:

  • Schilling told Red Sox brass after it happened and MLB investigated, but admits he was less-than-forthcoming about it all to MLB because he didn’t want to get anyone in trouble; and
  • When Schilling brought it all up on Wednesday he wasn’t trying to get attention. Rather, he was trying to make a point about how people who take PEDs aren’t necessarily bad people making bad decisions.

Well, OK then. I think his behavior in 2008 — blow a whistle and then not cooperate with the authorities — is curious-at-best for someone who portrays himself as one of the more anti-PED guys. And if he didn’t think his comments on Wednesday were going to cause a stir he hasn’t been paying attention to anything he’s said or done for the past decade or so.  But it is Curt Schilling we’re talking about so anything is possible.

Beyond that: I still feel like there’s a general disconnect in the way all of this has gone down in the past 24 hours. Everyone’s first reaction — Jed Hoyer’s Larry Lucchino’s and Major League Baseball’s — was one of shock, surprise, and lets-get-to-the-bottom-of-this.  Curt Schilling’s first response on Twitter was that he wasn’t going to name names because that wouldn’t do any good.  Then, a few hours later, everyone agrees that, oh yeah, this was all handled back in 2008, nothing to see here.

Just … curious.

UPDATE:  Jed Hoyer, who was the Red Sox’ assistant general manager back in 2008, was asked about Curt Schilling’s comments yesterday afternoon. This is what he said:

“The first I ever heard of that was this morning when I saw it, so clearly, no, it didn’t ring true to me at all,” Hoyer said Thursday on The McNeil & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score. “I can tell you it would be preposterous that Theo or I would be involved in that. So I can comment for the two of us. I obviously wasn’t there. I don’t know the story he’s talking about so I can’t comment on the rest of it. I can tell you certainly it wasn’t Theo or me.”

If there was, as everyone is now saying, a Major League Baseball investigation of the employee telling Schilling to take PEDs, how on Earth does Jed Hoyer not know about it? How is yesterday morning the first time he has ever heard of it? Because Schilling told people about it. From the Bradford interview:

Schilling immediately informed both Francona and Epstein of the incident, telling them, “I had a very uncomfortable conversation.”

So Theo Epstein knew and an investigation happened, but his assistant was kept totally in the dark?  Really?

This stinks.

Zach Britton settles with the Orioles for $6.75 million

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Boston. The Orioles won 6-4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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The Orioles and closer Zach Britton avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a $6.75 million salary for the 2016 season, Jon Heyman reports. The club has now handled all of its remaining arbitration cases and won’t have to go to a hearing with any players.

Britton, in his second of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $7.9 million while the Orioles countered at $5.6 million. $6.75 million is exactly the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

The 28-year-old lefty saved 36 games in 40 chances last season for the O’s while putting up a 1.92 ERA with a 79/14 K/BB ratio over 65 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays will also try to sign Josh Donaldson to a multi-year deal

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson gets up after being unable to handle an infield single by Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Tacking onto Friday’s report that the Blue Jays will attempt to sign Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to multi-year deals, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the club will try to do the same with third baseman and defending American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that Donaldson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for February 15, so the two sides will have 10 days to hammer out a contract.

Donaldson, 30, is entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. After earning $4.3 million last season, Donaldson filed for $11.8 million and the Blue Jays countered at $11.35 million. The $450,000 difference isn’t much compared to some of the other disparities among arbitration-eligible players and their respective clubs. Jake Arrieta and the Cubs, for example, had a gap of $6.5 million.

This past season, Donaldson let the league in runs scored and RBI with 122 and 123, respectively, while batting .297.371/.568 with 41 home runs and 41 doubles. He earned 23 of 30 first place votes in AL MVP balloting, with runner-up Mike Trout of the Angels grabbing the other seven votes.

Reds prospect Juan Duran suspended 80 games

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Juan Duran, a minor-league outfielder in the Reds’ farm system, has been suspended 80 games following positive tests for the performance-enhancing drugs Drostanolone, Stanozolol, and Nandrolone.

Duran is 6-foot-7 with big-time power, averaging 23 homers per 150 games since 2011, but he also strikes out a ton and struggles to control the strike zone. He spent last season at Double-A, missing a lot of time with injuries and hitting .256 with six homers and a .728 OPS in 59 games as a 23-year-old.

Duran is on the 40-man roster and is considered a quasi-prospect, but he’ll be ineligible to play until July and figures to head back to Double-A once reinstated.

The Blue Jays will talk long term deals with Jose Bautistia and Edwin Encarnacion

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Ever since Alex Anthopoulos resigned as Blue Jays’ GM and Mark Shapiro took over as team president, a distinct air of frugality has set in over Rogers Centre. The go-for-broke attitude that fueled Toronto’s fantastic second half last year was repudiated and long-term, sustainable building has seemed to be the order of the day.

But the Jays aren’t going to go crazy with that: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Blue Jays plan to have long-term extension talks with the agents of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion during spring training. This, combined with the still-remaining possibility that they can avoid arbitration with MVP Josh Donaldson and hammer out a long-term deal could mean some serious spending by the Jays before Opening Day.

Or this could just be talk from the front office designed to buoy the spirits of fans. Locking up all three of them to long-term deals may be hella expensive and may not be possible. It’s also the case that, given their ages — Bautista is 35 and Encarnacion is 33 — it may not be advisable to lock the both up. As always, it depends on the terms and how generous Rogers Communications plans on being with the Jays’ budget.

But the chatter is now out there and expectations are poised to be set.