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.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.