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

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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.

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.