Here’s an interesting take on the potential for mega discipline against scores of players arising out of Biogenesis.
Richard McLaren is an attorney who has presided as an arbitrator over multiple arbitration cases exactly like the one which may involve Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and others in the event they get disciplined: appeals of non-analytical cases. Meaning drug suspensions based on testimony or other evidence as opposed to a positive drug test.
He appeared on on the MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette today, and talked a lot about the potential Biogenesis appeals and how difficult they may be for Major League Baseball given that their star witness is Anthony Bosch. The key takeaway: “Credibility is everything. If he turns out to not be a credible witness, there’s not much of a case.”
Not that it’d be impossible. McLaren notes what anyone who has dealt with criminal doings or drug-related unseemliness knows: there are a lot of scumbags hanging around. And he talks about ways Major League Baseball can deal with his prima facie credibility problems. But it’s impossible to deny that if Major League Baseball does proceed with Bosch out front of its case against the players, making any discipline stick is going to be a pretty risky proposition.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.