Baseball notes: A-Rod in drug focus

Newspaper releases documents linking several stars with defunct clinic

The Associated PressJanuary 30, 2013 

MLB-Drug Investigation Baseball

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez takes batting practice before Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers, in Detroit. Major League Baseball says it is "extremely disappointed" about a new report that says records from an anti-aging clinic in the Miami area link Rodriguez and other players to the purchase of performance-enhancing drugs. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

CARLOS OSORIO — AP

— Alex Rodriguez was ensnared in a doping investigation again Tuesday when an alternative weekly newspaper reported baseball’s highest-paid star was among a half-dozen players listed in records of a Florida clinic the paper said sold performance-enhancing drugs.

The Miami New Times said the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables, Fla., near Rodriguez’s offseason home.

The new public relations firm for the New York Yankees third baseman issued a statement denying the allegations.

The newspaper said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and 2011 AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz of Texas.

Cabrera left San Francisco after the season to sign with Toronto, while Oakland re-signed Colon.

Other baseball players the newspaper said appeared in the records include Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who finished third in last year’s NL Cy Young Award voting, and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal.

Rodriguez appears 16 times in the documents it received, the paper said, either as “Alex Rodriguez,” “Alex Rod” or the nickname “Cacique,” a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief.

Rodriguez admitted four years ago that he used PEDs from 2001-03. Cabrera, Colon and Grandal were suspended for 50 games each last year by MLB following tests for elevated testosterone.

Atlanta has heart of order

Fredi Gonzalez sat down and started writing out projected lineups last week as soon as he heard the Braves had traded for Justin Upton.

The manager used 107 lineups last year, but says his juggling days are over.

Gonzalez says Justin Upton will be the No. 3 hitter “no matter who is pitching against you.” Older brother B.J. Upton, who signed with Atlanta in November, and catcher Brian McCann, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, will follow in the middle of the lineup.

Pujols might play in WBC

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols says he hopes to play for the Dominican Republic after the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

The first baseman and three-time NL MVP had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in October. He would need special permission from the Angels to take part in the Classic.

Pujols hit .285 with 30 homers in his first season with the Angels.

Rockies sign Chacin

Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin and the Colorado Rockies avoided arbitration by finalizing a $6.5 million, two-year contract.

The 25-year-old right-hander is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he went 3-5 with a 4.43 ERA.

Phillies ink Durbin

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed reliever Chad Durbin to a one-year contract with a club option for 2014.

Durbin was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and one save in a career-high 76 games for Atlanta last season.

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