In case you had the good sense to enjoy a sunny late spring day and watch some baseball rather than keep tabs on all of the minutiae surrounding baseball’s latest PED scandal, here is everything you need to know about the Biogenesis business:
- ESPN reported last night that Major League Baseball is getting in bed with Anthony Bosch and looking to suspend multiple players associated with Biogenesis. What players? These players;
- We at HardballTalk reported this afternoon that while, yes, baseball is moving forward with Bosch, suspensions are not yet decided upon. But a timeline is in place. Player interviews in June, potential suspensions in early July and then litigation chaos, presumably, immediately thereafter. Here’s what happens next.
- Whenever baseball does take action, if they seek to suspend multiple players at once, they are (a) making a big mistake; and (b) furthering their desire to deal with public relations disasters before actually dealing with baseball’s drug problem;
- The man who Major League Baseball has as its star witness — Anthony Bosch — is severely compromised. But that probably won’t stop people from trying to rehabilitate his character;
- And, based on the words of an expert in this area, they really do need to rehabilitate that character if there’s a chance in h-e double hockeysticks that any player suspensions stick.
- Ryan Braun denies any wrongdoing, saying “the truth has not changed.” He was out of the lineup today.
- Alex Rodriguez is the other MVP name mentioned. Has all of this tarnished his legacy?
- Speaking of legacy, what does all of this mean for Bud Selig’s legacy? Because suspending 20 guys at once is something I wouldn’t have expected from him.
That’s the state of the scandal at this hour. As always, check out HardballTalk for the latest in everything that matters with this case and, oh yeah, baseball in general. Which still exists, and that is a very, very good thing.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.
Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.
The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.
Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.
Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.
After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.
It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.
Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.
LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.
Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.