biogenesis records

MLB’s civil case against Biogenesis and others is still proceeding. One of the others is interesting.

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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?

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.