Skip to content

Neither the timeline for nor the severity of Biogenesis discipline has been determined

Jul 11, 2013, 12:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Michael Weiner condemned the leaks in the Biogenesis case earlier today. Specifically, it seemed, he was condemning the reports from ESPN in recent days that (a) Major League Baseball is poised to announce suspensions as early as next week; and (b) that it is determined to apply 100-game suspensions to some of the players involved, most often assumed to be Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez.

I spoke with a source familiar with the Biogenesis investigation today, however, and I’m told that, despite what most people are assuming based on the ESPN reports, neither of those things have yet been decided upon.

With respect to timeline, my source tells me that a discipline announcement as early as ESPN’s report suggested, while theoretically possible, is unlikely, as Major League Baseball is still talking to players and gathering information. My source tells me that if you were treating this like an over/under — or maybe a sooner-or-later after the All-Star Break — that the better bet would be later. Baseball has likewise not made any firm decisions regarding the extent of discipline. Specifically, whether any player is subject to a 100-game suspension.

About the 100-game suspension possibility: I’m told that, yes, it’s still on the table and being discussed. I was also told that my argument of the past two days — that the Melky Cabrera fake website example more or less precludes the league from leveling double discipline here — is not particularly persuasive to Major League Baseball and that they still think they can do it regardless of what happened with Melky. A second source — also familiar with the Biogenesis investigation and the Melky Cabrera investigation — backs the first source up, telling me that Melky had double discipline staring him in the face and essentially plea bargained his way out of it by agreeing to drop his appeal. As such, his case does not have precedential value.  They could have popped him for the deception as well, my sources say.

One question that has arisen is that if MLB is really trying to go after Braun or Rodriguez for two offenses, why is it 100 games instead of 150 games that is being discussed? After all, first offense = 50, second offense = 100, and we can certainly do the math. The answer, according to my source, is that the league likely views the 100 games as some sort of happy medium or, perhaps leniency of some kind with the acknowledgment that we’re in uncharted waters here (all of those are my words, not my source’s). But again, all of this is still being considered by the league, it’s still a very fluid discussion and no firm decisions have been made.

A final note about timeline: there have been many people wondering about the impact of suspensions. Would it interfere with a playoff race if 20 guys disappeared in the middle of September or something? Would it be worse to let them all play only to later find out that a World Series champ had a PED guy on it who maybe should have been suspended? All interesting questions, but not ones that are at the forefront of Major League Baseball’s decision making process, my source tells me. The league is going to issue discipline once its investigation is completed. The chips will fall were they may and it is the investigative process — not the potential competitive fallout of it — that will determine timing. I don’t know how else one could proceed with respect to that issue, as there are no good answers to the question.

So that’s the state of the world. I still have several issues with the Biogenesis matter. I don’t like the sorts of people MLB appears to be getting in bed with in order to get its evidence. I don’t like the reports we’ve heard that some players are more in the crosshairs than others due to past transgressions, perceived or otherwise. I still think it’s anything but a slam dunk that an arbitrator will side with MLB once this is all said and done and that because of that risk, MLB’s decision to proceed as it has presents long term risks to the drug program as a whole (i.e. if they shoot and miss on non-clinical suspensions now, they’ll have a hard time shooting again in the future).

But all of that said, if my sources are correct, it seems to me that MLB is doing this about as well as it can under the circumstances. And we will all be watching it unfold over a much longer timeframe than many people are suggesting.

Latest Posts
  1. Marlins, White Sox “have discussed” a John Danks trade

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    john danks getty Getty Images

    From FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi comes word that the Marlins and White Sox “have discussed a possible trade” involving left-handed starter John Danks.

  2. Giants expected to release second baseman Dan Uggla

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:02 PM EDT

    uggla giants getty Getty Images

    Dan Uggla’s stay with the Giants lasted nine days. MLB.com’s Chris Haft reports that San Francisco has released the veteran second baseman, who went 0-for-11 with a walk and six strikeouts in four games after being called up from Triple-A Fresno on July 25.

  3. Video: Manny Machado makes a ridiculous throw

    Jul 30, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    manny machado getty Getty Images

    Albert Pujols can barely move these days and for some reason went with a pop-up slide into first base, but this throw on Wednesday night from Manny Machado was still fantastic …

  4. Rangers’ retirement gifts for Derek Jeter: Yankees cowboy boots, signed George W. Bush photo

    Jul 30, 2014, 8:22 PM EDT

    jeter getty Getty Images

    Derek Jeter’s farewell tour continued Wednesday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas with another set of retirement gifts.

  5. Blue Jays considering Asdrubal Cabrera for second base

    Jul 30, 2014, 7:37 PM EDT

    asdrubal cabrera getty Getty Images

    CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Blue Jays are targeting Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera — who is known to be available — and would ask him to play second base.

  6. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says he was never close to trading outfielder Oscar Taveras

    Jul 30, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT

    oscar taveras getty Getty Images

    Oscar Taveras has been mentioned as a possible centerpiece in trade talks this week for top-tier starting pitchers like David Price and Jon Lester, but if Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is to be believed that was all speculation from the outside.

  7. Astros “looking to move” slugger Chris Carter

    Jul 30, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT

    chris carter getty Getty Images

    The 44-64 Astros could jump into this seller-friendly market before Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Houston is “looking to move” first baseman and designated hitter Chris Carter.

  8. Matt Harvey cleared to throw from a mound

    Jul 30, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

    matt harvey getty Getty Images

    Now that it’s clear he can’t ramp up for 2014, the Mets have cleared Matt Harvey to throw.

  9. Nate Jones undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Jul 30, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    nate jones getty Getty Images

    White Sox reliever Nate Jones has been on the disabled list with a back injury since the first week of the season, but now he’s got an even bigger problem.

  10. The Mariners are out on Marlon Byrd

    Jul 30, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Marlon Byrd Marlon Byrd

    It’s been a rumor for a good while, but now it’s going where rumors go when they die.

  11. There are reports that Jon Lester is going to the Orioles. And reports that that’s utter baloney

    Jul 30, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Jon Lester

    The very essence of the trade deadline just played out on Twitter

  12. Eric Chavez announces retirement

    Jul 30, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

    Eric Chavez

    Injuries derailed what was a very promising career for Chavez while with the A’s, but he bounced back and got healthy enough to thrive in part-time roles for the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

  13. Cubs acquire Felix Doubront from Red Sox

    Jul 30, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    Felix Doubront made it clear that he wanted the Red Sox to either put him back into the starting rotation or trade him, and then he went out and had a terrible relief appearance that many took to mean he was trying to push a trade.

  14. UPDATE: OK, maybe the Marlins aren’t going to trade for John Lackey.

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

    lackey getty Getty Images

    A few minutes ago we thought this man could soon be a Fish. Now it seems unlikely. HAPPY TRADE DEADLINE!

  15. Josh Zeid needs season-ending foot surgery

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Josh Zeid Astros AP

    Zeid pitched well for the Astros as a 26-year-old rookie last season, but struggled mightily this season with a 6.97 ERA in 23 appearances.

  16. The Dodgers are out on Lester, Price and Hamels

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT

    dodgers logo

    They’ve been rumored to be in on all the big names, but now it sounds as if they’re out.

  17. Cardinals acquire Justin Masterson from Indians

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT

    justin masterson getty Getty Images

    Cleveland turned down Justin Masterson’s attempted contract extension offer back in spring training–balking at what seemed to be reasonable terms at the time–and now the Indians are trading the impending free agent to the Cardinals, according to Peter Gammons of MLB.com.

  18. HBT Daily: Trade Rumor Roundup: Kemp! Hamels! Price!

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    And no mention of Lester because I legit thought he’d get traded in between the time we taped this and the time it went live.

  19. Dylan Bundy is struggling in his comeback from Tommy John surgery

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

    Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy would probably already be in the majors to stay if not for blowing out his elbow last season, but now the former No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball is struggling while rehabbing in the minors.

  20. The Dodgers are interested in Joaquin Benoit

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Joaquin Benoit

    But the Padres may be playing hard to get.

Featured video

All the trade deadline news to know
Top 10 MLB Player Searches