Rodriguez denies drug connection Report cites evidence in clinic files FROM WIRE SERVICES
Alex Rodriguez has been accused anew as a steroid cheat -- a charge he denied through his public relations firm.
In an explosive report Tuesday by the Miami New Times, the troubled Yankees slugger was said to have used human growth hormone and other performance enhancers despite claims that he'd been clean for the last decade.
The New Times reported on what it says are detailed records of a recently closed Miami-based anti-aging clinic.
A-Rod is the biggest name on a list of players reportedly linked to use of performance-enhancing drugs through Biogenesis of America. According to the New Times report, Rodriguez's name showed up 16 times in records it reviewed from an employee of Biogenesis of America before it closed a month ago.
The Miami New Times, which The Associated Press describes as an alternative weekly, reported that records show the firm sold PEDs such as human growth hormone, testosterone and anabolic steroids.
Prominent baseball names in the report include Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez and former Yankees Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon -- both suspended last season for PED use with other clubs.
Though Rodriguez through a statement denied being party to this latest steroid scandal, MLB acknowledged its active investigation into the alleged South Florida drug connections with players.
Anthony Bosch, 49, the head of the shuttered Miami clinic, was linked to Manny Ramirez during his suspension for PED use in 2009. According to the New Times report, Bosch never has been charged by local or federal officials.
The Yankees, who owe Rodriguez a guaranteed $114 million the next five seasons, have taken a wait-and-see approach.
"We fully support the Commissioner's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the club said in a statement. "This matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner's Office. We will have no further comment until that investigation has concluded."
Rodriguez, 37, admitted to steroid use as a Texas Ranger from 2001-03 after a Sports Illustrated story uncovered a failed drug test administered before MLB issued any penalties for such use.
According to the New Times report, a portion of Bosch's private notebooks indicated that Rodriguez paid $3,500 for human growth hormone, which is banned by MLB.
Testing for HGH will begin in the major leagues this season.
Phils, Durbin agree: Reliever Chad Durbin and the Phillies have finalized a $1 million, one-year contract.
Durbin gets an $850,000 salary this year under Tuesday's agreement, and the Phillies have a $1.5 million option for 2014 with a $250,000 buyout.
The 34-year-old right-hander was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and one save in a career-high 76 games for Atlanta last season. He returns to Philadelphia, where he was 5-4 with a career-best 2.87 ERA for the 2008 World Series champions.
To make room on their 40-man roster, the Phillies designated righty J.C. Ramirez for assignment.
Bucs sign Waldrop: The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed reliever Kyle Waldrop to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
The 27-year-old Waldrop went 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 17 appearances for Minnesota last season.
Rockies sign Chacin: Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin and the Colorado Rockies avoided arbitration by finalizing a $6.5 million, two-year contract on Tuesday.
Mets sign Murphy: Second baseman Daniel Murphy and the New York Mets have agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,925,000, avoiding salary arbitration.