Alex Rodriguez hires lawyer who helped Ryan Braun win appeal against MLB

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This should go over well. According to the Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Alex Rodriguez has hired the lawyer who helped Ryan Braun win his appeal against Major League Baseball in 2012.

David Cornwell has joined Jay Reisinger to represent Rodriguez in preparation for a potential fight against MLB. The story was first reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

We learned earlier this week that Rodriguez and Braun are among the players who could face suspensions for their alleged connections to Biogenesis, a now-shuttered anti-aging clinic in South Florida. The clinic’s founder, Anthony Bosch, has agreed to cooperate with MLB’s investigation, though they reportedly have “tons” of other witnesses to help their case.

Cornwell isn’t a bad guy to have on your side, as he helped convince an independent arbitrator to overturn a 50-game suspension for Braun in February of 2012 by arguing that the chain of custody protocol with his drug test had not been followed. While MLB is going after Braun again, Rovell reports that he is not working with Cornwell in advance of the Biogenesis fallout.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.