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MLB issued subpoenas to Fed-Ex, AT&T and T-Mobile as part of Biogenesis investigation

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Here’s the latest development as MLB continues its investigation into players suspected of acquiring performance-enhancing drugs from Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, MLB’s lawyers issued subpoenas to Federal Express, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA in an attempt to gather records for their investigation.

The subpoenas were issued May 23, according to a case file in Florida’s Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, where MLB sued Biogenesis of America, anti-aging clinic head Anthony Bosch and five others in March.

MLB asked Federal Express to turn over shipment records for Biogenesis, Bosch, the other defendants and a long list of individuals who appeared to be affiliated with Bosch.

MLB asked the phone companies for call records, texts and subscriber info for the phones of Juan Carlos Nunez, an associate of outfielder Melky Cabrera who was banned from big league clubhouses last year, and Porter Fischer, who was affiliated with the now-closed anti-aging clinic.

In addition, a subpoena was issued for Biogenesis and related entities in March, seeking records involving major leaguers and 70 banned substances. No players were mentioned by name.

It’s unclear how MLB was granted this power, but the AP story states that there’s nothing in the files to indicate that the companies planned to challenge the subpoenas. In fact, a spokesman for FedEx said that the company “complies with all valid subpoenas,” but declined any further comment. Meanwhile, a spokesman for AT&T said he was looking into the matter and spokeswoman for T-Mobile hasn’t responded to inquiries for comment.

Bosch has reportedly agreed to cooperate with MLB’s investigation, but since potential suspensions will likely result in a contentious appeals process from the players’ union, records from Fed-Ex, AT&T and T-Mobile could provide valuable evidence to add to his credibility.

Diamondbacks hire Mike Fitzgerald to head Research and Development department

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Mike Hazen, new Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Red Sox, addresses the media during a press conference to announce his promotion before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on September 24, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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According to an official announcement, the Diamondbacks have acquired former Pirates quantitative analyst Mike Fitzgerald as their new Director of Research and Development.

Fitzgerald joined the Pirates’ front office in 2012, where he frequently accompanied the team on the road to help breach the divide between analytics and the clubhouse. According to a profile written by Grantland’s Ben Lindbergh in 2014, Fitzgerald’s multifaceted approach brought balance and perspective to the organization, whether he was assisting coaches in making statistically sound decisions, optimizing the batting order, weighing in on scouting and personnel decisions, developing more effective defensive positioning, or keeping players and personnel appraised of the latest developments in sabermetrics.

In the wake of Fitzgerald’s departure, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington praised the Diamondbacks for a smart acquisition and said that the club has every intention of finding a replacement analyst, albeit one who will have some big shoes to fill.

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.