Originally written February 08, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Troubles ahead? The Seattle Mariners have been fortunate enough to never have really been implicated by alleged steroid use or PED use throughout their history. Aside from a 2005 season that saw three players suspended for PEDs (Jamal Strong, Ryan Franklin, and Mike Morse), Seattle has brought natural talent to the field that, at least prior to 2003, was very competitive in the American League. However, on Tuesday morning, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero was listed in documents related to Biogenesis, a company that is currently being investigated by the MLB for distributing PEDs to certain players. Players that have been associated with this clinic are Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Cesar Carrillo, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, Francisco Cervelli, and Danny Valencia. The connection of Montero to Biogenesis could raise some issues for the Mariners, who were looking to move him into a fuller role at catcher this season as Mike Zunino continues his development. In case you haven’t heard the story yet, let’s talk about what is exactly happening with Jesus. What We Know There are only a few things certain at this point in the investigation into Montero’s alleged connection with Biogenesis, one of them being that he was named as having corresponded with the agency. Montero’s link to PEDs is troubling for Seattle fans. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Montero is also represented by the same people as Cabrera, Gonzalez and Cruz, players who were already listed as having connections with the supposed anti-aging clinic. His agents are Seth and Sam Levinson.The Mariners’ catches is already in Peoria, Arizona, where he and a few other teammates have already started working out prior to the opening of Spring Training. In an interview with Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times, Montero indicated that he had no knowledge of how and why he was connected to the story. While he did acknowledge taking verbal advice from A-Rod, Montero denied any reports of using any PEDs and does not know why he was connected to Biogenesis and its owner, Anthony Bosch. In the report issued by the the New York Daily News, Montero was linked to Biogenesis, though it did not give any indication as to why he was connected to them. The story did not implicate that Montero had used any PEDs, just that he has connections to the company. What This Means The connection of Montero to Biogenesis has the potential to disrupt a Seattle team that is continually building towards the future and looks to finally have things settling in place. As of right now Montero is the only catcher listed on the Mariners’ active roster, 40-man roster, and depth chart. Though they will have to break camp with at least one other catcher on the roster, as mentioned previously, Seattle will be counting on Montero to play the majority of games at catcher in order to continue to develop their young stars while keeping one of their better bats in the lineup. Should Montero prove to have used PEDs in any form, a suspension will definitely be on the way for this young star. Though it is not clear as to how long the bans would last, any ban would be significant as the Mariners would have to consider that when breaking camp with their catchers. Not only would they lose their starting catcher for an unknown number of games, the Mariners would also lose a bat that can be very productive at times. Mike Zunino, Seattle’s top prospect at catcher, will still likely need a year or two to develop into the player that he can be that is ready for the show. Then again, Montero’s name may just be on there because he has connections with A-Rod and his agents are the same as those who represent players implicated on the PED list. A best case scenario would be one that sees Montero prove his innocence and wipe away all distractions before the season starts. Unfortunately, as of right now, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this case that looks to play itself out over the coming months as Major League Baseball conducts an investigation. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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