a-rod reuters

Heyman: “MLB has receipts, checks, the whole nine yards”

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Some interesting tidbits on the Biogenesis investigation from Jon Heyman. Among the things (I think anyway) we haven’t heard before: sources telling him that Major League Baseball has “receipts, checks, the whole nine yards.” I mean, it’s been safe to assume that, of course, but this is the first time I recall seeing a source tell a reporter that.

There’s also some stuff in there about A-Rod and his people being realistic about his impending suspension and the fact that, given his recent injury, he’s not likely to “beat the suspension to the field,” as they put it. Also interesting are reports of the league and the union’s possible differing interpretations of what constitutes multiple offenses, how much discipline might be doled out to players and whether any of them are willing to take pleas.

All of that makes a lot of sense. But this part about Alex Rodriguez doesn’t:

If MLB can possibly prove drug ties before and after his MLB interviews denying involvement, it’s possible he could get 150 games. While it would seem to be difficult to imagine a lifetime ban within one ruling, 150 games away could effectively end the career of a player with two bad hips who turns 38 on July 27.

The hips were good enough to have him hitting homers in rehab games until late last week’s quad injury. As for 150 games: if A-Rod got that handed to him tomorrow, and if he decided to just accept the suspension, he’d be eligible to come back at roughly this time next year. There are a lot of players — particularly pitchers — who miss a year and a half and make it back. Even old ones.

But maybe the better example here is Manny Ramirez. He’s older than A-Rod, has just as much if not more of a PED-taint than does A-Rod, was less effective than A-Rod was at the time of their last pre-suspension action, was probably in worse shape at the time of the suspensions, then retired and sat out for an extended period.  He jut signed with his third team since becoming a pariah.

Maybe A-Rod would just up and quit, but I kinda doubt it. And if didn’t quit, you can’t tell me a team wouldn’t take a chance on him as their DH at the very least. That team most likely being the Yankees themselves.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.