MLB sues Biogeneis, Anthony Bosch, claims interference with contract

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Major League Baseball has filed its lawsuit against Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis. There are multiple other defendants as well.* The claim: that by selling drugs to major league players, Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch “enabled such Players to possess and/or use [performance enhancing drugs] and thus knowingly and intentionally caused and/or induced such Players to breach their contractual obligations under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program not to possess or use [performance enhancing drugs].”

UPDATE: The entire complaint can be seen below.

This morning my primary legal criticism of the claims were that Major League Baseball could not show damages as a result of these acts. I have not changed my mind, if for no other reason than the contract MLB claims interference with is the Joint Drug Agreement, in which MLB has no direct financial interest. Indeed, it EXPECTS the JDA to be breached and has built in a punishment system because of it. When a player takes PEDs he violates it, by definition. Major League Baseball does not have a cause of action for breach of contract against them. How Major League Baseball expects to get greater satisfaction from an alleged third party tortfeasor than it could get from a party to the contract is … interesting.

That said, here are their damages allegations:

Due to Defendants’ actions, MLB has suffered damages, including the costs of investigation, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue and profits and injury to its reputation, image, strategic advantage and fan relationships.

Nothing surprising. But also nothing which seems at all to be the stuff of a meritorious lawsuit.  It’s loss of goodwill, outside of that involving a few columnists, is impossible to quantify. Its revenue and profits are at record highs and many would argue that these were achieved thanks in part to the PED-inflated offensive numbers of the past 20 years, not despite it.

This lawsuit is crazy on its face. It should be thrown out of court. I am shocked Major League Baseball found someone who would file it.

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*The defendants:  BioGenesis of America, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company (“BioGenesis”); Biokem, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company (“Biokem”); Anthony P. Bosch (“Bosch”); Carlos Acevedo (“Acevedo”); Ricardo J. Martinez (“Martinez”); Juan Carlos Nunez (“Nunez”); Marcelo Albir (“Albir”); and Paulo da Silveira

Yankees trade Sonny Gray to the Reds

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The deal was much talked about all weekend and now the deal is done: The Cincinnati Reds gave acquired starter Sonny Gray and lefty Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

The key to making the deal happen: Gray agreeing to a a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension. The Reds will likewise hold a $12 million club option for 2023. The deal had been struck and a window granted through close of business today to get Gray to agree to the extension and, obviously, he has.

The Reds will get a pitcher coming off of a bad season in which he posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He was hammered particularly hard in Yankee Stadium but pitched better on the road. Great American Ballpark is not a great pitcher’s park itself but any change of scenery would be nice for Gray, who had become much unwanted and unloved in New York. In Cincinnati he has the assurance of a spot in the rotation and, even better for him, he will be reunited with his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who joined new manager David Bell’s Reds staff earlier this offseason. If he bounces back even a little bit, the Reds will have a useful starter at a below market price for four years. If he doesn’t, well, they haven’t exactly gone bankrupt taking the chance.

The Reds will also get Reiver Sanmartin, 22, who started in the Rangers system before being traded to the Yankees. He’s a soft-tosser who figures to be a reliever if he makes the big leagues. He played at four different levels last season, with one game at Double-A and the rest below that, posting a composite 2.80 ERA in 10 starts and 13 overall appearances while striking out 7.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees will get Shed Long, who is ranked as the Reds’ seventh best prospect. The 23-year old second baseman hit .261/.353/.412 at Double-A in 2018 and has hit very close to that overall line for his entire six-year minor league career. He strikes out a bit and may not stick at second base long term, shifting to a corner outfield slot perhaps, but he’s a legitimate prospect.

The Reds get another starter with some upside. The Yankees get rid of a problem and gain a prospect and a draft pick. Sonny Gray gets some job and financial security at a time when it is not at all clear what his future holds. Not a bad baseball trade.

UPDATE: Welp, the Yankees don’t have a prospect anymore. They just traded long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers was a second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 21 and batted .260/.380/.410 with five homers and 20 steals over 58 games in Short-Season ball in 2018. He’s ranked by MLB.com as the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, but now he’s New York bound.