I would still wager a decent amount on there being no Biogenesis-related discipline at all — it’s a he-said, she-said at the moment — but if discipline does come it won’t be at least for the next month and change. We know this because, as Jon Morosi reports, Ryan Braun and Gio Gonzalez’s eligibility for the WBC is not in question:
. . . two sources said Tuesday that any discipline arising from the Biogenesis investigation is unlikely to be announced soon enough to impact the WBC, which begins March 8 for Team USA. The championship game is scheduled for March 19 in San Francisco.
Morosi’s source says that Major League Baseball is still trying to get the records related to Biogenesis from the Miami New Times. So, a couple of weeks out, the folks who would dole out the suspensions still know nothing more than we do.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.