Alex Rodriguez is getting all the headlines, but Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was also among the players that yesterday’s Miami New Times report linked to a biogenesis clinic that sold performance-enhancing drugs.
Rangers boss Nolan Ryan was asked about the story and said the team hasn’t spoken to Cruz about it, via Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:
When something like that happens, I think we need to let things settle down. It’s an ongoing investigation by Major League Baseball, so that’s kind of the position we’ve taken.
And of course because Nelson Cruz isn’t Alex Rodriguez no one is suggesting the Rangers should release him or try to void his contract or banish him to the moon or any of that fun stuff.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com speculated yesterday that even if Cruz were to be suspended the Rangers would likely stay in-house with a short-term replacement.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.