Monday, April 23, 2018
Sports

Nationals' Gonzalez 'shocked' by link to clinic

VIERA — Left-hander Gio Gonzalez arrived at spring training with the Nationals on Tuesday and said he has not used performance-enhancing drugs.

The Miami New Times reported last month that Gonzalez was among a half-dozen major league players listed as receiving PEDs in purported records of Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables. Gonzalez, 27, hopes to be exonerated.

"I feel very confident," he said. "I think that at the end of the day I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will."

Gonzalez, a 21-game winner last year, denied the allegations on Twitter on the day they were reported.

"You're stunned. You're shocked," he said Tuesday. "Your name has been brought up out of nowhere. You can't do nothing about it. You just have to wait it out and listen to what's going on. You can't jump the gun. You can't jump to conclusions. At the end of the day you just have to listen in and wait patiently."

Gonzalez said he had been contacted by Major League Baseball officials and has cooperated with their investigation. Gonzalez said he has "done everything that they want, and I feel strong with their program and what they're doing, and at the end of the day I'm waiting on them."

If MLB finds evidence Gonzalez used steroids, it could levy a 50-game suspension.

Gonzalez's father, Max, also was listed in the purported Biogenesis records.

"There's no connection for the fact that I say my father admitted that he was a patient there. A legitimate patient," the pitcher said.

Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, who also was named in records belonging to the clinic, also denied any involvement.

"I don't have anything to do with those people. I know my agency is handling everything. I don't know anything about it," Montero said.

DEAL DONE: Right-hander Felix Hernandez and the Mariners reached agreement on a contract that is expected to make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball. "I think it's a great thing for the Seattle Mariners," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "It's a great thing for Felix Hernandez, and looking forward to this guy being here for a very long time, obviously." Hernandez, 26, is expected to make $175 million over seven years.

CRAWFORD UPDATE: Former Rays All-Star Carl Crawford threw at a distance of 90 feet and took swings off a tee at the Dodgers' spring complex in Glendale, Ariz., without any pain or discomfort in his surgically repaired left elbow, mlb.com reported.

ANGELS: Right-hander Ryan Madson was scheduled for an MRI exam on his surgically repaired pitching elbow. The reliever, who missed all of last season after reconstructive surgery, felt soreness when throwing earlier this month.

A'S: Free-agent left-hander Hideki Okajima, 37, finalized a minor-league contract after he passed a physical.

D'BACKS: Didi Gregorius, considered the shortstop of the future, has a right elbow injury that has prevented him from throwing or batting for the past month. Gregorius, 22, was acquired from the Reds in a three-team trade involving the Indians.

METS: Closer Frank Francisco is bothered by the same right elbow inflammation that ended his 2012 season on Sept. 16. Manager Terry Collins said right-handers Bobby Parnell and Brandon Lyon will be given the first chance to take over the closer's job.

REDS: Third baseman Scott Rolen declined the team's offer to attend spring training to compete for a reserve role. Rolen, 37, told the team that he's keeping his options open but isn't ready to try to play right now. … Right-hander Mat Latos agreed to an $11.5 million, two-year contract.

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