The New York Times is reporting that MLB, rebuffed in its attempts to get Biogenesis documents from the Miami New Times, is now paying an ex-Biogenesis employee for documents relating to the case.
Which is interesting enough. Making it even more fascinating: according to the report, the league has taken this step after learning that a player named in documents has purchased documents from a former clinic employee in order to destroy them.
The New York Times has no idea about the identity of that player. Among those named in the Biogenesis documents were Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz.
The Times reports that MLB has provided payments to multiple former Biogenesis employees who have cooperated with its investigation. According to the Times: “The payments were for the time they provided to the investigators,” and “were not believed to have exceeded several thousand dollars.”
While MLB is well within its rights to pay the ex-employees, there is the concern that said payments would make the employees easily attackable witnesses in case they’re called to testify in any lawsuits.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.