Tony Bosch may not be well advised to testify in Biogenesis appeals

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This morning I linked a story about the feds taking an interest in Biogenesis and investigating whether or not it sold drugs to high schoolers and things.  The Daily News has a more thorough story about it here.

I hadn’t thought of this before — my lawyer skills are atrophied, it seems — but a friend of mine just pointed out that this set of circumstances could possibly present a problem for Major League Baseball.

The problem: as a target of a federal investigation, Bosch would be well-advised to clam the heck up. If he testifies or speaks anywhere, his comments will be used against him in any subsequent criminal proceedings. That includes if he speaks at, say, an arbitration following a ballplayer’s appeal of a Major League Baseball suspension. If Bosch has a good lawyer, that lawyer is telling him NOT to go on the record anyplace if he fears federal prosecution. Especially given that his testimony at an MLB arbitration would be all about how he sold drugs to people.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily create a huge problem. For one thing, Bosch’s former employee, Porter Fischer is both cooperating with the feds and Major League Baseball. It could very well be that baseball is relying way more on him than Bosch and that his testimony would be sufficient. It’s also possible that Bosch himself is under no illusions that he’s going to escape federal pain and could very well make a deal with the feds in time to help baseball if they need his testimony to sustain player discipline.

But it is an interesting wrinkle. One that, if you were a lawyer for a player trying to decide whether or not to appeal Biogenesis discipline, could certainly impact your thinking on the matter.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.