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MLB roundup: Gonzalez denies PED use; Rodriguez will stay home

The SportsXchange

The second day of spring training featured two players who answered and avoided questions about performance-enhancing drugs.

Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez repeated his denial Tuesday regarding his association with a clinic that is being investigated for providing performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players.

"At the end of the day, I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs and I never will," Gonzalez told reporters on his first day at spring training.

The lefty was one of six major leaguers named in a Miami New Times report as having received PEDs from Anthony Bosch, the founder of a since-closed clinic that is accused of giving human growth hormone and synthetic testosterone to players.

According to the paper, Gonzalez was listed five times in Bosch's personal notebook. His father, Max, was also listed, and has said he was a Biogenesis patient in an attempt to lose weight.

Meanwhile, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is recovering from hip surgery as well as the latest controversy involving PEDs obtained from Biogenesis scandal, won't attend spring training with the team in Tampa, according to a New York Post report.

As reported on Twitter, Rodriguez will continue his rehabilitation process in New York. Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that A-Rod is still on crutches.

The Post reported that the Yankees requested for A-Rod to stay home.

---Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez is officially the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

The right-hander and the team agreed to a seven-year $175 million contract, the Mariners announced.

Hernandez, who will turn 27 on April 8, has anchored the Mariners rotation since making his debut in 2005. He has made at least 31 starts and topped 200 innings every year since 2008.

---The Kansas Royals acquired infielder Elliot Johnson from the Tampa Bay Rays as the player to be named in the December trade involving pitcher James Shields and outfield prospect Wil Myers.

Johnson, 28, appeared in 123 games for the Rays in 2012, and posted a .242 batting average with six home runs.

---The Cincinnati Reds and pitcher Mat Latos have agreed to a two-year, $11.5 million contract, according to multiple reports.

The right-hander will earn $4.25 million in 2013 and $7.25 million in 2014.

The 25-year-old posted a 3.48 ERA in 209 1/3 innings with Cincinnati last season. He had requested $4.7 million through arbitration, while the countered with $4.15 million.

---Los Angeles Angels reliever Ryan Madson, who projects as the team's closer this season, may begin the regular season on the disabled list because of elbow soreness.

Madson told reporters that he let team doctors know after halting his offseason throwing program Feb. 1, and was advised to temporarily stop.

Madson, 32, had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last April, shortly after signing with the Cincinnati Reds.
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