MLB, MLBPA discussing changes to drug program

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Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that officials with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are talking about changes to the drug program. Under the current plan the sides can and do meet each year to discuss alterations and such alterations are often made. For example, last year baseline testosterone screening and HGH blood testing was included.

This year, Morosi reports, the changes being discussed are small, but could include the severity of penalties, which has been a hot topic since the Biogenesis story broke. Many players and, one presumes, the league are in favor of stiffer penalties for first-time offenses.

Of course, given that MLB just got A-Rod for 162-games on what, under the Joint Drug Agreement, counted as a first offense, I suppose how necessary such changes are is an open question.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.