The list of players under investigation by Major League Baseball due to links with Anthony Bosch, his Biogenesis anti-aging clinic and performance-enhancing drugs is a long one.
The players named include Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, Yankees 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez, Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Baltimore infielder Danny Valencia, Tigers' farmhand Cesar Carillo and the currently unemployed Manny Ramirez have all been associated with the controversial "wellness" clinic.
You can now add another name to the list.
Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci reports Peralta also has ties to Bosch.
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta is named in the records of Tony Bosch, the director of the Biogenesis wellness clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., that is the target of an MLB investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, according to sources familiar with the records.
Peralta brings to 12 the number of baseball players connected to Bosch's notes, and adds to one of the two threads that have emerged in the Biogenesis case: Peralta is the fifth client of the ACES agency of Seth and Sam Levinson and with an association with Juan Nunez, a former runner for the agency, to be connected to clinic records.
As part of the Miami New Times investigation, the Tigers were contacted by the weekly newspaper. When the New Times asked Dave Dombrowski to comment on Peraltra's connection to Bosch he would only say, "I won't get into that."
The Tigers have released an official statement on the Peralta matter.
The Detroit Tigers fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. However since this matter is currently part of an investigation by Major League Baseball, the Club is not at liberty to comment.
Peralta has retained counsel, Barry Boss, who released a statement on behalf of his client.
"I have never used performance enhancing drugs. Period. Anybody who says otherwise is lying."
In Peralta's defense, his name is not directly linked to PED's, unlike some of the aforementioned players. But any name discovered in the clinic records is going to be investigated by MLB.
A week ago Peralta told Tom Gage of The Detroit News he had lost weight this past off season.
"I've never been at this weight since I've been with Detroit. I finished last season at 236. I'm at 218 now."
The sudden weight loss is eerily similar to former Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez reporting to spring training in 2005 having shed 30 pounds amid swirling steroid rumors. Jose Canseco would later claim he personally injected steroids into Pudge during their days with the Rangers. When asked whether his name is on the list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids during MLB's 2003 testing, Rodriguez would just answer, "Only God knows."
The 30 year old Peralta is in the final year of his contract, the Tigers picking up his $6 million option for 2013. Compared to his All-Star season of 2011, Peralta is coming off a year where his offensive stats trended down sharply in almost every significant category, including a 60 point drop in batting average, .299 to .239.
Rumors have circulated this entire off season the Tigers were looking to move Peralta as part of trade package, hoping to pickup a better defender in the middle of the infield. These latest reports linking Peralta to PED's adds another layer to the Tigers' attempts to replace their incumbent shortstop.