Part of MLB’s deal with Anthony Bosch is that the league will dismiss the lawsuit it filed against him. It hasn’t done that yet. Which isn’t terribly surprising as MLB is still probably wanting to ensure continued cooperation from him and to ensure that they get something of value from him. The court likely won’t make the league do anything until various deadlines approach that require its attention.
But there are other defendants besides Bosch. One of them is his former colleague who is alleged by MLB to have also given players PEDs. His name is Carlos Acevedo and just this afternoon his latest request to have the lawsuit against him dismissed was denied, so he’s still in MLB’s crosshairs.
Acevedo is an interesting character here. I presume his defense — in addition to some statute of limitations grounds mentioned in the linked article — will be that he had nothing to do with Biogenesis. Which may be technically true. However, Acevedo and Bosch were partners in a predecessor anti-aging clinic before they had a falling out and went their separate ways. And it wasn’t too terribly long ago that this happened. The third partner in that clinic, a guy named Xavier Romero, left with Acevedo. He told the New York Times a couple of months ago that (a) he didn’t do anything with athletes; and (b) Bosch was a wreck and that he was surprised that he’d be able to lure baseball players as clients. The article also noted that Acevedo had a good reputation in the anti-aging community and worked with solid medical companies in the past.
Which makes me wonder about Major League Baseball’s interest in Acevedo. Do they think that he was a source of PEDs to players? If so, you’d think he’d be a better target for cooperation than Bosch, given his apparently more august standing in the world, his greater ability (in Romano’s view, one presumes) to lure high profile clients; and, by extension, his fewer credibility problems. On the other hand, if they don’t think he was involved, this lawsuit, with respect to Acevedo anyway, stinks to high heavens.
While I disagreed with Major League Baseball’s lawsuit when it was filed and still believe it’s the weakest legal sauce imaginable, I don’t think MLB is in the business of harassing truly innocent parties, which is what they’d be doing here if Acevedo didn’t have some sort of involvement in providing drugs to players. Which makes me think that maybe they’re trying to do with Acevedo what they did with Bosch: flip him and get him to talk about players’ drug use. Which suggests that either MLB doesn’t think that it yet has the goods or that it’s being extremely deliberate as it builds its case.
If they do have the goods on the players, though, you’d think they’d quit pursuing Acevedo, right?
CC Sabatha made headlines in October when he abruptly left the Yankees to go into alcohol rehab. After a month there he came back and gave interviews about his decision and his battle with the bottle and then disappeared into the offseason the way most players do.
He emerged the other day and spoke with the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand and says that he’s ready for baseball once again. Indeed, in some ways he’s more ready now than he usually is by mid February. He’s been throwing bullpen sessions for the past three weeks — he normally waits until he gets to Tamps — and he says his troublesome knee is feeling good.
Sabathia will turn 36 during the season. In 2015 he was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts and posted his lowest strikeout rate in a decade. Late in the season, however, with the help of a knee brace, he was at his most effective in some time. He won’t need to return to 2008 form in order to help the Yankees this season, but he will need to look more like he did in September if he is to help the Yankees to the playoffs.
The Mets are currently enjoying the spoils of the best young rotation in the game, but the big question is whether this is just a brief window or the start of sustained success. Given the huge prices on the free agent market, it’s going to be next to impossible to keep the band together, but at least one member of the rotation is open to sticking around for the long-term.
While there haven’t been any talks yet, All-Star right-hander Jacob deGrom told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he could see himself discussing an extension with the Mets.
“I’m a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that,’’ deGrom told The Post at Mets pre-camp. “You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It’s something I’d have to look into and make sure I agree with it.’’
It makes sense from deGrom’s perspective. He broke into the majors later than most prospects, so he’ll be 28 this June. Depending on whether he qualifies as a Super Two, he’ll be arbitration-eligible for the first time after either 2016 or 2017. Either way, he’s under team control through 2020, which means that he’s currently on track to hit free agency after his age-32 season. The market might not be kind to him even if he manages to stay healthy, so it could behoove him to get as much guaranteed money as possible right now. The Mets could always decide to play things year-to-year, but perhaps deGrom would be willing to settle for a discount in order to get them to buy out a free agent year or two. It’s a really interesting situation to think about, but odds are the two sides will wait on contract talks until he’s arbitration-eligible for the first time.
DeGrom owns a 2.61 ERA in 52 starts over his first two seasons in the majors. Among starters, only Zack Greinke, Jake Arrieta, and Clayton Kershaw have a lower ERA since the start of 2014.
The Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $14.3 million deal, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
The deal, which was initially discussed last month, buys out Moustakas’ final two years of arbitration. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that it’s believed he’ll make $5.6 million in 2016 and $8.7 million in 2017.
The 27-year-old Moustakas posted an underwhelming .668 OPS over his first four seasons in the majors, but he enjoyed a big postseason in 2014 before breaking out last season by batting .284/.348/.470 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported this morning that free agent reliever Tommy Hunter required core muscle repair surgery earlier this offseason. Coming off a disappointing 2015, it’s understandable why he’s still on the market, but it sounds like he has at least one significant lead.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the Rays are having “advanced talks” with Hunter as they attempt to add an experienced arm to their bullpen. Nothing is considered close and Hunter is also talking to other clubs. Meanwhile, the Rays have been in touch with veteran reliever Ryan Webb while monitoring the trade market.
Hunter posted a 2.88 ERA as a late-inning arm from 2013-2014, but he compiled a mediocre 4.18 ERA over 58 appearances last season between the Orioles and Cubs. On the bright side, his velocity has held steady and his control is still very good. Despite the down year and core muscle surgery, Topkin writes that Hunter may be holding out for a multi-year deal.