T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish of ESPN.com report that the spokeswoman for Robinson Cano’s charitable foundation was named in the documents of Biogenesis, the now defunct Miami anti-aging clinic which has launched an investigation by Major League Baseball into players’ alleged use of performance enhancing drugs:
The spokeswoman for Robinson Cano’s foundation is listed as having been a client of the Biogenesis clinic last summer, although she denies having received anything from the clinic and says Cano “definitely never did.”
Major League Baseball, however, has possession of a Biogenesis client roster that lists the spokeswoman, Sonia Cruz, and is investigating whether Cano had any relationship to the clinic, sources familiar with MLB’s investigation told “Outside the Lines”.
There are the requisite denials all around. Quinn and Fish note, however, that Cano is close with both Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez, who have also been implicated in the Biogenesis scandal.
Which would normally not be all that important nor would it serve as a reasonable basis for Major League Baseball to pursue its investigation, but guilt-by-association is pretty much all anyone has in this whole shebang, so Cano should probably consider himself in the same crosshairs as everyone else who has thus far been named.
UPDATE: Worth noting, as I neglected to when I posted this a moment ago, that Quinn and Fish’s sources say that Sonia Cruz’s interaction with Biogenesis, as reflected in the records they’ve obtained, is consistent with her claim that she went to Biogenesis for personal weight loss purposes. Which would seem to be pretty relevant here. As they also report, however, Major League Baseball is still investigating Cano all the same.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.