Baseball Wiretap

Ortiz Defends Past, Says No Player Is Tested More

Mar 27, 2015 8:23 AM

David Ortiz has written a first-person essay for The Players' Tribune, defending his past and candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

"Let me tell you something. Say whatever you want about me -- love me, hate me," Ortiz wrote. "But I'm no bulls------. I never knowingly took any steroids. If I tested positive for anything, it was for something in pills I bought at the damn mall. If you think that ruins everything I have done in this game, there is nothing I can say to convince you different."

Ortiz also told a story of being in the Dominican Republic last winter and being awakened by "two American guys holding briefcases" with "pee cups and big needles" who had come to administer drug tests mandated by Major League Baseball.

"In some people's minds, I will always be considered a cheater," he wrote. "And that's bulls---. Mark my words: Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I've been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. If it's really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It's no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will.''

Ortiz's name surfaced in connection with steroids in 2009, when the New York Times reported that he and Boston Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez were among 100 players who had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

Gordon Edes/ESPN

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Misc Rumor

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Tulowitzki On Rockies: 'I Want To Win Here'

Mar 27, 2015 8:38 AM

When asked if he wants to remain with the Colorado Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki pointed to another goal.

"I want to win here," Tulowitzki said.

Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez signed huge contract extensions with the Rockies four years ago, but the duo has struggled to remain healthy and Colorado has struggled to contend.

"It's so frustrating," Gonzalez said. "When Tulo and I signed a contract almost the same time, our goal was not to just sign a contract, but to stay together and win together. That's something we want to do so bad.

"It just hasn't happened."

Tulowitzki has not publicly asked to be traded, but he has shared his sentiments with general manager Jeff Bridich, who has promised to keep Tulowitzki informed about trade talks.

"We had conversations this winter, and Tulo has an understanding what we're thinking,'' Bridich said. "And we have a general understating how Tulo is viewing the team here and how views the rest of baseball."

Tulowitzki is one of the best shortstops in baseball when on the field.

"But I want to win,'' Tulowitzki says. "I think a lot of people talk about winning, but I don't know if they're fully invested in that. The only years I've had fun here is the years we won. So I want to go back to having fun again.

"It's not just a matter of me and (Gonzalez) staying healthy. People read too much into that. People think if we're healthy, it automatically means we're a good team. That's not the case. Our injuries shouldn't be an excuse.''

Bob Nightengale/USA Today

Tags: Colorado Rockies, Misc Rumor

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Joe Nathan Will Close To Tigers

Mar 27, 2015 4:45 PM

The Detroit Tigers will use Joe Nathan as their closer this season.

Brad Ausmus shook his head 'no' when asked Thursday if there was a competition brewing for the team's closer role this spring.

Nathan had a 4.81 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 58 innings last season. He has saved 88 games over the last two games.

James Schmehl/

Tags: Detroit Tigers, Misc Rumor

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White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek

Mar 27, 2015 4:40 PM

The Chicago White Sox have claimed Kyle Drabek off waivers.

Drabek, 27, was once regarded as one of baseball's top 30 prospects by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.

Despite struggles on the mound and with staying healthy, Drabek has been effective the last two Minor League seasons and has enjoyed a strong Spring Training.

Jon Morosi/FOX Sports

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Misc Rumor, Waiver

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Verlander Leaves Appearance With Triceps Cramp

Mar 27, 2015 4:36 PM

Justin Verlander left Friday's exhibition game with cramping in his right triceps muscle.

Verlander will be re-evaluated tomorrow and the Detroit Tigers do not expect him to miss his next start.

The right-hander left after throwing 40 pitches.

Anthony Fenech/Detroit Free-Press

Tags: Detroit Tigers, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Tanaka Will Start Opener For Yankees

Mar 27, 2015 4:33 PM

Masahiro Tanaka will start on Opening Day for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 6 at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia had started the past six openers for the Yankees.

Tanaka has pitched well this spring, showing virtually no ill effects from the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament he suffered last July that cost him two months of his rookie season.

Wallace Matthews/ESPN

Tags: New York Yankees, Misc Rumor

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'Dead Arm' Not An Issue For Lester

Mar 27, 2015 8:50 AM

Jon Lester, who missed a Cactus League start on Saturday because of a "dead arm," is no longer dealing with any issues.

Lester faced hitters on Thursday and threw without pain or discomfort.

"It was good," The Chicago Cubs left-hander said. "It felt good. Everything felt good."

He threw 54 pitches, 33 for strikes, over 3 2/3 innings against Minor League hitters.

"I thought he looked really comfortable and his arm was working well," Joe Maddon said. "I thought as the game went along, maybe in the fourth inning, he was coming out of his delivery a little bit. But I thought overall it was really good.

"What I was really watching was him, watching his face. It never seemed like anything bothered him, so his arm felt great. He threw some good fastballs, some nice cutters, yeah, yeah, yeah, but he felt comfortable and that's the most important thing. I liked what I saw today."

Mike Bauman/MLB

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Twins Looking For Relief Pitching

Mar 27, 2015 8:44 AM

The Minnesota Twins are looking for bullpen help, according to sources.

Minnesota is looking to add at least one and maybe two relief pitchers by the end of Spring Training.

Twins relievers ranked 21st in the league in ERA (3.73), 24th in fWAR (0.9), 29th in xFIP (4.18) and dead last in strikeouts per nine innings (6.66 K/9) in 2014.

La Velle E. Neal III/Star Tribune

Tags: Minnesota Twins, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Brady Aiken Has Tommy John Surgery

Mar 27, 2015 8:28 AM

Brady Aiken announced Thursday that he had Tommy John surgery.

Aiken didn't sign a contract after the Houston Astros selected him with the No. 1 overall pick last year.

The 18-year-old was pitching for the IMG Academy, a private training institute in Florida, to prepare for this year's draft after the contract dispute with Houston.

"I'm obviously extremely disappointed," Aiken wrote for The Players' Tribune. "I wanted to let my pitching speak for itself, but now there are going to be new distractions. For that reason, I wanted to be the one to tell people what's happened and make this a fresh start."

Associated Press

Tags: Injury, Misc Rumor

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Gallardo To Start Opener For Rangers

Mar 27, 2015 8:17 AM

The Texas Rangers have selected Yovani Gallardo to start on Opening Day.

Yu Darvish would likely have made the start, but he had Tommy John surgery on March 17.

Gallardo has started on Opening Day the past five years for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Rangers acquired Gallardo via trade in January.

Associated Press

Tags: Texas Rangers, Misc Rumor

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Indians Send Lindor To Triple-A Columbus
Francisco Lindor, 21, is Cleveland's top prospect and one of the best in all of baseball.

Jordan Bastian/MLB

Cosart Cooperating In Grambling Probe
Jarred Cosart was "caught off guard" by the firestorm surrounding his alleged sports gambling activities and is cooperating fully with a Major League Baseball investigation.

Jerry Crasnick/ESPN

A-Rod Subject To More Drug Testing
Alex Rodriguez is subject to increased drug testing by Major League Baseball as a result of his 162-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Wallace Matthews/ESPN

Reds Acquire Dan Johnson From Astros
Dan Johnson signed with the Astros as a free agent in December.

Associated Press

Tanaka Working On Two-Seam Fastball
Masahiro Tanaka wants to add the pitch, which is slower than his four-seamer but has more movement, to his arsenal.

Bryan Hoch/MLB

Bryant To See Action In Left Field For Cubs
Kris Bryant has played third base and was the designated hitter while limited because of fatigue in his right shoulder in Cactus League games this spring.

Carrie Muskat/MLB

Tillman, Orioles Open Talks On Extension
The two sides have a goal of completing a deal by the start of the season.

Jon Heyman/CBS Sports

Royals Name Ventura Opening Day Starter
Ned Yost says Danny Duffy and Edinson Volquez will follow Yordano Ventura in the rotation.

Associated Press

Forbes: Average MLB Team Worth $1.2B
The Yankees are worth $3.2 billion, tops on the list and just the second United States sports franchise to eclipse the $3 billion mark.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Samardzija To Start Opener For White Sox
The right-hander, acquired from the Athletics in a December trade, will replace Chris Sale, who has been scratched from the honor because of a fractured bone in his right foot.

Doug Padilla/ESPN

Cashman: A-Rod Could Be Everyday DH
Alex Rodriguez was a mystery entering camp this spring having played just 44 games for the Yankees over the last two seasons due to injury and suspension.

Bryan Hoch/MLB

Tigers, Price Begin Discussing Possible Extension
The Tigers acquired David Price, who can hit free agency after the season, via trade from the Rays last summer.

Jason Beck/MLB

Released Linebacker To Try Out For Red Sox
Brandon Magee, who was cut by the Buccaneers on Wednesday morning, is headed to spring training with the Red Sox.

Pat Yasinskas/ESPN

Rendon's Availability For Opener In Doubt
Anthony Rendon's availability for Washington's opener is in doubt after a second MRI on his injured left knee failed to reveal progress as expected.

Jerry Crasnick/ESPN

Cosart Subject Of MLB Grambling Probe
MLB is looking into possible sports-related gambling ties involving Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart, a league official has confirmed.

Jerry Crasnick/ESPN

Matt Cain Admits To Lingering Discomfort
Matt Cain continues to progress in his recovery from elbow surgery, but admitted Tuesday that he is dealing with lingering discomfort.

Chris Haft/MLB

Padres Want To Sign Upton To Long-Term Deal
Justin Upton is entering the final season of the six-year, $61.25 million deal he signed with the Diamondbacks in 2010.

Barry M. Bloom/MLB

Rays To Retire Don Zimmer's No. 66
The Rays will honor Don Zimmer before their April 6 opener.

Associated Press

Lester May Be On Pitch Count In Opener
Jon Lester could be "restricted" on Opening Day for the Cubs as he continues to build his pitch count up after missing a recent spring start due to arm fatigue.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Lester Confident He's On Track After Bullpen Session
Jon Lester, scratched from his last start because of a tired arm, threw a bullpen session on Monday.

Carrie Muskat/MLB