MLB considers the Curt Schilling matter to be closed

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And we’re done here, apparently. A statement was released from Major League Baseball with respect to Curt Schilling’s statement on Wednesday that someone with the Red Sox advised him to take PEDs back in 2008:

“At the time of the incident in question in 2008, the Boston Red Sox immediately reported the allegations to Major League Baseball as required by our investigative protocols.  Once the Red Sox reported the matter, Major League Baseball assumed sole responsibility for the investigation.  The Club handled the matter consistent with all MLB rules and requirements and in a manner that was above reproach.

“Major League Baseball thoroughly investigated the allegations and considers the matter closed.”

I still find it somewhat hard to believe that Jed Hoyer, who was then the assistant GM, never heard about this until yesterday.  Nor team president and CEO Larry Lucchino. And I’m not sure how why the source I spoke with yesterday afternoon at Major League Baseball said that MLB will look into the matter wasn’t aware that the matter had already been looked into. Seems like something at least one of these people probably should have known about.

Oh well. Thankfully everyone remembered it all by around 5PM yesterday, so that worked out nicely.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.