Texas Rangers baserunner Cruz is congratulated in his dugout after he scored a run off a two-run single by teammate Murphy against Seattle Mariners in their American League game at Safeco Field in Seattle

PED-derangement Watch: Bill Madden edition


If you are incapable of talking about Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta as free agents without couching almost the entire discussion in the Biogenesis stuff, you may be suffering from PED Derangement Syndrome. Sadly, Bill Madden of the Daily News is exhibiting all of the symptoms.

Today he has a column about how Cruz and Peralta might be good targets for the Mets to pursue in free agency. And they may be. But we can’t really assess that from Madden’s column which spends very little time on their baseball merits and how they might fit into the Mets’ roster and payroll structure and almost all of its time on clever little jabs about how Cruz and Peralta were suspended for the Biogenesis stuff this past season:

But if he doesn’t get Granderson, where might Alderson go for the bats he needs? I say he should think Biogenesis.

After all, Alderson has never seemed to have a problem with drug-tainted players, going all the way back to his days in Oakland when, whether he knew it or not, the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, were alleged to have been shooting up steroids in the bathroom stalls of the A’s clubhouse … There is one other added advantage in signing Cruz or Peralta. Both of them have demonstrated they know how to beat a drug test.

There are a few lines about them being power threats. But a lot more about the drug history of Sandy Alderson-signed players. Which would be fine if it were used to make an argument about the risk of these guys due to their suspensions presented a possible financial inefficiency or something, but I’m not seeing that argument in Madden’s piece. It’s just a facile “look at the druggie players and the drug-friendly general manager! They should get together!” And the sense you get is that they should get together because of the story it would create just as much as they should for baseball purposes.

I dunno, Maybe the most interesting thing about Cruz, Peralta and Alderson is their associations with PEDs. I just sorta feel that Mets fans are more interested in them as baseball players and their team’s GM than they are as subjects of Bill Madden’s and the Daily News’ PED obsession.

Orioles have reached out to Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.

Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.

Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox all showing serious interest in David Price

AP Photo/Tim Donnelly

David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”

The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.

Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.

The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.

Marlins have begun extension talks with Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.

Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:

As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.

“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”

The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.