Craig Calcaterra

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon Beachy works against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 20, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Associated Press

Brandon Beachy signs a one-year deal with the Dodgers

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that The Dodgers have struck a deal with righty Brandon Beachy for $1.5 million.

Beachy pitched in two games for the Dodgers last year after two years out of the big leagues thanks to two Tommy John surgeries. The games weren’t good — he went four innings in both games, allowing three and four runs, respectively — but that was more a matter of him completing his rehab and the Dodgers trying to see what they had in him. After those outings and a lackluster stint on a minor league rehab assignment, they likely still don’t know.

They do know, however, that Beachy posted a 3.23 ERA in 46 starts in the majors with 9.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 before the elbow ligament went south on him. That’s worth a gamble at least, and these days $1.5 million is a very small gamble for a starting pitcher.

Report: Alex Gordon returning to the Royals on a four-year, $72 million deal

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Last month Jon Heyman reported that Alex Gordon informed the Royals they had “no chance” of bringing him back based on their then-current offer. That offer must’ve been less than four-years and a bit over $70 million, then, because Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com is reporting that Gordon and the Royals have agreed to a multi-year deal in that range. It was Ken Rosenthal who first mentioned the numbers and Jeff Passan of Yahoo had the first rumblings this morning that a deal was near. UPDATE: Jon Heyman is reporting that the deal is four years, $72 million.

No matter who reported it, however, it’s big, big news for the defending World Series champions. Gordon is a Gold Glove-caliber corner outfielder and, while there may be better players on the Royals, he has been there longer than anyone, is a fan favorite and has been described as the team’s heart and soul. His leaving in free agency, as most people thought would happen, would’ve left a pretty significant hole on the roster and in the clubhouse. And the fans would’ve been really, really bummed.

Gordon turns 32 next month. He’s a career .269./.348/.435 hitter, but in the past five years he’s hit .281 with an .809 OPS while consistently rating among the best all-around outfielders in baseball. As he elevated his game, so too did the Royals.

Is $70 million over four years a lot for a 32-year-old outfielder? Yep. But the Royals and their owner David Glass can afford it. And the Royals fans, who stuck it out through the lean years and are now finally enjoying the success of the past two, deserve to have their favorite star hang around a few years longer.

The media drags Derek Jeter into the Peyton Manning PEDs story

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Whenever you see a news story in which a figure is “linked” to something, do yourself a favor: figure out who is doing the linking. If a figure within the story with knowledge and facts at his disposal is doing it, sure, it may mean something. If it’s the reporter merely observing some commonalities, it may not. It may just be a coincidental or irrelevant fact.

None of which is to say that this story from the New York Times yesterday (picked up now by the Daily News, so look out) is false in any way or misleading or misguided or even insignificant. It’s just to say that when you start dropping new names into a controversial story about sports doping, one had best be very clear about what is actually being reported and what is not.

Here’s what is being reported: that Derek Jeter’s trainer, Jason Riley, was friends and business partners with Charlie Sly, the pharmacist who told Al Jazeera that Peyton Manning, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman and others were getting HGH from him. Riley likewise trained Howard, Zimmerman and others. Sly has since recanted those statements (which were taken undercover) and has claimed that he was just boasting and talking big and dropping names. Howard and Zimmerman have sued and everyone named in the report has denied Sly’s claims.

What’s NOT being reported: that Jeter took PEDs or even that someone who has lied at one time or another like Charlie Sly has ever claimed he did. Indeed, if you WERE lying about famous athletes taking PEDs in order to make yourself look like a big shot and get business, you’d probably drop Jeter’s name, wouldn’t you? That’s the biggest fish there is. Even Sly didn’t do that.

All of this could mean something, as links with trainers and supplement companies and the like are how virtually every sports doping story has started. In light of that, there is nothing wrong with the Times or the Daily News running with this, at least cautiously. It’s interesting and could be relevant at some point.

But caution is in order. Based on this report, the Daily News is using “Jeter’s trainer linked” constructions in its headline. If history shows us anything it’s that such headlines will inevitably have the effect of readers saying that Jeter was linked. That’s how these things go. When new names are added to the PED soup, “links” often quickly become “ties” which often quickly become “allegations” which often lead to people’s names being dragged through the mud unjustifiably.

My advice: read carefully and conclude cautiously, especially when someone who has admitted to lying plays a prominent role in the story.