MLB Set to Interview Players Linked to Miami PED Scandal

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2013

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 07:  Melky Cabrera #53 and Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees warm up during batting practice prior to Game One of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 7, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

As expected, the day of reckoning will come for the newest MLB players to be listed on a performance enhancing drug report.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, MLB officials are preparing to take the case before the players implicated in the scandal as well as the Miami New Times and reporter Tim Elfrink, who collectively broke the story on Tuesday morning.

Here's an excerpt from Passan's report:

League officials expect to travel to Florida in the coming days to discuss with Miami New Times editors and lawyers whether the newspaper, which broke the story Tuesday, will provide the league with the Biogenesis records implicating [Alex] Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzales, as well as the previously suspended Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal.

If the information comes out factual, it could mean suspensions for all involved. MLB would then move on to interviewing each player implicated individually, according to Passan:

If the newspaper does release the records to the league, not only could it bolster MLB's case when arguing for potential 50-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Cruz and Gonzalez, it could provide an ever greater look at the scope of Biogenesis owner and alleged peddler Anthony Bosch's operation – and add more names beyond the sullied six.

The news comes as a shock to the baseball world, especially in the case of New York Yankees slugger Rodriguez. A-Rod publicly admitted and apologized through a 2009 interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons, when he claimed that PED use from 2001 to 2003 with the Texas Rangers was the only time he had used steroids in his career.

That admission certainly has the Yankees reeling, as it was reported on Tuesday evening (h/t ESPN) that the franchise was looking for a way to get rid of Rodriguez and the more than $100 million left on his contract.

While Rodriguez is the biggest name that is leaked from the report, the others are household names, too.

Cruz and Gonzalez are both key cogs on playoff teams. The Texas Rangers released a statement on Tuesday after Cruz was implicated in the scandal, claiming to have had knowledge of this development for about a week before the story broke (h/t CBS Sports):

The Texas Rangers were contacted late last week by Miami New Times regarding the story posted this morning. At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry. The team has no further comment.

Gonzalez isn't taking his name being thrown through the mud lightly. He fought back on Twitter on Tuesday evening, posting these two tweets in succession of one another after having a chance to compose his thoughts:

I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will ,I've never met or spoken with tony Bosch orused any substance

— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013

Provided by him.anything said to the contrary is a lie.

— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013

Cabrera, if you'll remember, was in the hunt for the 2012 National League MVP award before being suspended by baseball in August after testing positive for testosterone (per ESPN).

The former San Francisco Giants outfielder signed with the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, but it appears he and Rodriguez both will be at the front of the line with the rest of these players in answering some extensive questions after the evidence listed in the report.

Elfrink describes Anthony Bosch's company, Biogenesis, as the "East Coast version of BALCO" in his report for the New Times.

We'll continue to update this story as more information becomes available, but it looks like MLB officials are in for a long and exhaustive process in finding out whether or not these claims are true.

And the extent of how many players are really involved.


Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.