Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com is in Nationals camp in Viera, Florida, and he was on hand for Gio Gonzalez’s first in-person comments to the media since the Biogenesis story broke. His full story is here.
The upshot: Gonzalez was “stunned” and “shocked” that his name showed up in the records, but says he’s “very confident” he’ll be cleared by MLB of any wrongdoing and again denied any relationship with Biogenesis or Anthony Bosch. He said his father was a patient at Bosch’s weight loss clinic but that he was not and did not use any PEDs. As for how his name could have appeared, he speculated:
“My father already admitted that he was a patient there, a legitimate patient,” Gonzalez said. “And then after that, you know how my father is. All of South Florida, all of baseball knows that my father is the most proud father in baseball. Says hi, tells everybody about his son. That’s the best I can say. Other than that, I have no clue why my name was on that list, or on the notebook or anything.”
He said he has fully cooperated with MLB and is waiting, like all of us, to hear if anything else comes of it.
The Marlins will hold a news conference on Monday, per a team announcement. The exact nature of the conference has not yet been disclosed, but MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro speculates that it is likely to focus on Víctor Víctor Mesa and Víctor Mesa Jr., two brothers and outfield prospects who have been linked to the organization over the last several weeks. CEO Derek Jeter and president of baseball operations Michael Hill are expected to be in attendance.
Víctor Víctor Mesa, 22, stands out as an above-average defender in center field and a premier talent in the international market. According to reports following the brothers’ workout at Marlins Park in early October, Víctor Víctor carries plenty of power potential at the plate, though it’s not yet clear how that will translate to in-game opportunities. The young outfielder produced a lifetime .279/.329/.371 batting line, 11 home runs, 76 stolen bases, and a .701 OPS over six seasons with the Matanzas and Industriales of the Cuban National Series and the Cuban national team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
There’s more uncertainty around 17-year-old Víctor Mesa, Jr., who was noted by scouts for his athleticism and above-average arm during the international prospects’ showcase several weeks ago. He previously played for Cuba’s 18U national team and appears to have potential in the outfield as well.
An additional report from Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald clarifies that the Mesa brothers have already been in Miami for the past few days and are thought to have undergone the medical examinations necessary to sign with the team. If that’s the case, the club is in position to announce the signings next week. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez adds that Víctor Víctor Mesa could command a signing bonus upwards of $5 million, while Víctor Mesa Jr. stands to receive something in the ballpark of $1 million.