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.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.