Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch has decided to cooperate with Major League Baseball, according to ESPN's Outside the Lines. Their agreement could result in disciplinary action against many of Bosch's former clients, including three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez:
Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks...
This news connecting A-Rod to the doctor is a huge distraction for the contending New York Yankees. Moreover, general manager Brian Cashman recently admitted to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News that his expectations for the 37-year-old have been tempered after numerous stints on the disabled list:
Once his injuries came into play with him, they may have taken away his ability to be a superstar. But he’s still an above-average player at that position and hopefully that’s what we’re going to get.
At the very least, A-Rod won't be mashing major league pitching in 2013.
More from ESPN:
One source familiar with the case said the commissioner's office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is the players' connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitutes another.
Following the conclusion of Tuesday night's contest, the Yankees have 104 regular-season games remaining. That total will almost certainly dwindle into double digits while specific information is being gathered from Bosch.
As detailed in an earlier article, most fans absolutely detest Rodriguez. He betrayed them by returning to PEDs only a few years after apologizing for previous steroid use on national television. The Bombers would risk offending their entire fanbase by activating A-Rod between now and the end of his contract. Their preference is definitely to keep him off the field.
That would be easier said than done for many teams, but New York is set up comfortably at the hot corner. Kevin Youkilis will be its main occupant this season, while rookie David Adams could be a starting candidate for 2014 and beyond. Deeper in the farm system, former first-round draft pick Dante Bichette Jr. is gradually heating up at Single-A Charleston according to Bay News 9.
Aramis Ramirez is an ideal buffer between Youkilis and Bichette, as his contract runs through next year with a mutual option for 2015. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports implies that the last-place Milwaukee Brewers can put Ramirez on the trading block after acquiring Juan Francisco:
By acquiring Juan Francisco, the Brewers have a corner infielder in place if they trade Aramis Ramirez or Corey Hart.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 3, 2013
A-Rod wouldn't be missed on the field after finishing 2012 with an underwhelming .783 OPS and ugly platooning splits.
The elephant in the room is his monstrous contract. His salaries for the 2013-2017 seasons have been fully guaranteed at $114 million.
But contrary to earlier reports, Yahoo's Jeff Passan thinks the Yankees are no longer concerned with lowering payroll beneath $189 million:
In recent months, the Yankees have become far less bullish on their publicly stated austerity plan, admitting to other executives and agents that staying beneath the $189 million threshold is unlikely and impractical.
"It was a good idea to try," one Yankees official said. "But deep down, we all pretty much knew it wasn't going to happen."
Of course, bringing in Ramirez or other proven free agents would be much more realistic with Rodriguez off the books.
ESPNNewYork.com reported in January that voiding his deal is a possibility once the investigation wraps up:
According to an industry source, the Yankees "are looking at about 20 different things," including whether Rodriguez breached the contract by taking medical treatment from an outside doctor without the team's authorization, and the possibility that he might have broken the law by purchasing controlled substances from a Miami "wellness clinic" run by nutritionist Anthony Bosch.
We need not spend nearly as much time mulling A-Rod's Hall of Fame hopes. The 2009 admission had already doomed him.
The following players who appeared on the latest ballot were "penalized" for either concrete evidence of their doping or suspected steroid use:
|Player||Votes||Percent of Total||Year on Ballot|
*75 percent support required for induction.
Baseball-Reference.com ranks Rodriguez first among both active players and all-time third basemen with 115.5 career WAR. That's also good for 12th-best in MLB history. He owns a .300 lifetime batting average and nearly 3,000 total hits. All his power numbers are sensational, too.
But none of that matters if he really buffed up with Biogenesis products.
The league has produced and disseminated a 34-page document specifically outlining its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Based on the voting behavior of the BBWAA writers, anybody who doesn't get with it doesn't deserve enshrinement in Cooperstown.