A-Rod’s lawyers want the feds to investigate Major League Baseball

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Another day without actual arbitration proceedings, another day with lawyers in the A-Rod case finding a camera and going off. This from Lanny Davis, lawyer to A-Rod and former lawyer to Bill Clinton. So he knows from media attention:

“I repeat my request that U.S. authorities should initiate an investigation as to whether any federal crimes have been committed by MLB investigators as well as those in the Commissioner’s office who may have been complicit in this misconduct — for example, in the purchase of stolen documents; or whether MLB filed information with the IRS that federal law requires for this type of a commercial transaction involving $125,000 in cash.”

That’d be the $125,000 paid for documents — or whatever it paid for — from Biogenesis. That were stolen, by the way, but never you mind.

Indeed, it’s hard to look at everything Major League Baseball has done — or, at the very least, is accused of doing — in the course of the A-Rod investigation and not believe that it’s, at best, acted a bit shady. I mean, buying stolen documents for $125,000 is not exactly your typical employment discipline scenario.

That said: fat chance of anything coming of this.

BREAKING: Manny Machado to sign with the Padres: 10 years, $300 million

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Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Manny Machado has a deal with the San Diego Padres. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the deal is for ten years and $300 million with an opt-out after year five.

At the moment there is some disagreement as to how “done” this deal is, with Padres chairman Ron Fowler saying “We do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions.” Ken Rosenthal, however, says that’s “semantics” and that the financial terms are in place, with the deal requiring over some final touches on language and Machado’s physical, which will likely be a formality.

The Padres were a late entrant into the Machado sweepstakes, but they reportedly met with Machado last week. The club has obviously not won for a long time, but they have a strong farm system. While that usually mitigates against a big free agent signing, Machado’s age — 26 — means that he’s still likely to be a productive player when that core of prospects is mature. And if it doesn’t develop, hey, he’s made some serious bank and can still opt-out at an age when he might get another decent paycheck.

For the Padres, Machado represents the biggest single investment in a player in club history. Last year they spent too, of course, giving Eric Hosmer an eight-year, $144 million contract, but this is definitely next-level. As for the baseball side of things, it’s likely that Machado will be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop. While all of the talk about Machado over the past several months has been focused on money and, sometimes, his alleged lack of hustle, the Padres are getting a player with a career line of .282/.335/.487 (121 OPS+), 175 career homers and a 33.8 career WAR in seven big league seasons. While he played shortstop last year and as a minor leaguer, his past and future is at third, where he is a superior defender. As for the hustle: it has almost exclusively been an obsession of the media, based on an ill-advised postgame quote in October. He has received no bad reviews from former teammates, all of whom speak highly of his game and his work ethic.

When the offseason began it appeared that the Phillies or the Yankees or, perhaps, the White Sox had the inside track on Machado. Everyone took a wait-and-see approach, reasonably believing that by waiting out Machado, a better deal could be struck. The risk of that approach, of course, is that it allowed the Padres to talk themselves into getting bold and, ultimately, swooping in to strike this deal.