From NBCSports.com, via the Associated Press:
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Miami’s baseball team has been tested for performance-enhancing drug use, including human growth hormone.
Results have not arrived, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the university has not authorized the information’s release. Miami’s drug policy includes random steroid testing, but not HGH.
The team’s strength coach, Jimmy Goins, showed up in the records of the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic along with the names of many former University of Miami players who have since moved on to the major leagues. The Hurricanes open their season this weekend with a three-game series against Rutgers.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.