NEW YORK — Major League Baseball paid a former employee of a Florida anti-aging clinic linked to performance-enhancing drugs for documents, the New York Times reported Thursday on its website.
The newspaper also reported at least one player linked to now-closed Biogenesis of America purchased documents from a former clinic employee in order to destroy them, and that other players made efforts to buy documents.
In January, the Miami New Times, an alternative weekly, reported that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was among the big-leaguers listed in the clinic's records. The players named have denied they obtained banned drugs at the clinic.
The Times said the payments by the commissioner's office did not exceed more than "several thousand dollars." MLB officials took the unusual step of paying for documents because, with no subpoena power, its investigators likely would not have access to the material if it wound up in the players' hands, the New York Times reported.
Commissioner Bud Selig declined to comment, other than to say the clinic is the subject of a "very thorough investigation" by MLB.
Cubs prospect sits after wielding bat at Threshers
Cubs prospect Jorge Soler was suspended five games a day after charging the visiting Clearwater Threshers' dugout with a bat during a Florida State League game.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the organization supports Soler but condemned his actions.
Playing for Class A Daytona, Soler grabbed a bat and approached the Threshers dugout during the seventh inning. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Soler and Carlos Alonso argued after a play at second and were separated. Epstein was told comments were made about Soler's family. Soler, 21, was restrained before he reached the dugout and never swung the bat.
Yankees-Indians postponed: Rain in Cleveland prevented the Yanks and Indians from playing for the second straight day. No makeup date was announced.
Goat head drop-off: The goat head addressed to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and delivered in a box to Wrigley Field on Wednesday was dropped off by a man driving a white van who left it at a security entrance on Waveland Avenue, team surveillance video revealed. Police have called it an "intimidating package."
Rockies-Mariners trade: Seattle acquired RHP Aaron Harang from Colorado in exchange for right-hander Steven Hensley and cash.
Red Sox: DH David Ortiz (Achilles tendon) went 2-for-3 with two singles, an RBI and scored a run in his first rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket.
White Sox: 2B Gordon Beckham is expected to miss about six weeks because of a broken bone in his left wrist that will require surgery.