Major league baseball will work with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in its investigation of PED allegations arising from a recent Al Jazeera report, ESPN.com’s T.J. Quinn reports. Several players were implicated in that report, including Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals and Ryan Howard of the Phillies. “We’ve had discussions with USADA and are hopeful that together we can make progress in this investigation,” said the league’s chief legal officer, Dan Halem. As Quinn explains, it’s an unprecedented level of interaction between the league and the agency. The NFL, on the other hand, won’t be participating in the arrangement.
Here are some more notes of general interest from around the game:
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that commissioner Rob Manfred must not show any favoritism towards the Cardinals and owner Bill DeWitt in assessing whether and how to issue penalties arising from the improper accessing of the Astros’ computer systems by former Cards scouting director Chris Correa. (For the latest information on that, read here and here.) Manfred and DeWitt enjoy a good relationship, as the commissioner himself made clear in comments to Rosenthal. But the top league official also left no room for interpretation as to his intentions, telling FOX Sports: “I think what the owners expect me to do — regardless of what my relationship [with an owner] may or may not be personally — is do the right thing by the institution. That’s what I intend to do when I have all the facts about the Houston-St. Louis thing.”
- There’s been some debate recently about the subject of “tanking,” and both Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and Buster Olney of ESPN.com weighed in on it yesterday. Cameron argues that there aren’t strong enough incentives for MLB teams to lose on purpose in pursuit of better positions for amateur talent. Olney counters that some talent evaluators in the game see a real and growing problem. Manfred’s own recent take on the matter is well worth consideration as well.
- ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden takes a crack (Insider link) at valuing some possible extensions of top young players around the game. He has Bryce Harper at just over $400MM, which is also the rough price range that MLBTR’s Steve Adams and MLBTR’s readers have previously landed at. It’s an interesting thought experiment, and is well worth a read. I would take some issue, however, with the spread between his $100MM+ valuations on players like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor and his approximately seven-year, $70MM estimates for the two Red Sox players on the list, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.
- Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper offers an interesting and sometimes sobering look at some of the very best prospects that never made it to the major leagues.