Even though he may soon be among nearly two dozen players suspended for using performance enhancing drugs, New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is continuing his recovery from a strained quad suffered July 21.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced Wednesday that Rodriguez will play in a simulated game Thursday in Tampa and will begin a rehab assignment on Friday. Cashman refused to say where Rodriguez will make that rehab assignment with, according to ESPNNewYork.com.
Rodriguez, 38, has missed the entire season rehabbing from offseason hip surgery. He was ready to make his 2013 regular season debut sometime last week, but that was scrapped when the three-time American League Most Valuable Player suffered the strained quad.
Cashman refused to discuss the possible suspension of Rodriguez in the Biogenesis scandal. But ESPN reported that A-Rod and as many as 20 other players are likely to be suspended for their relationship with Anthony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic in south Florida that allegedly supplied PEDs to MLB players.
Several media reports claim that the MLB Players Association has been informed by MLB officials that the penalties and suspensions could be announced as early as Friday. Rodriguez has already said he will utilize MLB's appeal procedures to fight suspension or possible banning from the sport.
---With a possible suspension looming, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta told reporters before Wednesday's game against the Washington Nationals, "I don't have a comment yet. I try to see what's better for everybody and see what can happen."
The Tigers apparently believe a suspension is imminent. President and general manager Dave Dombrowski made a three-way trade on Tuesday night to get 23-year-old shortstop Jose Iglesias to fill in for Peralta if in fact he is suspended. The Tigers gave up minor league prospects Avasail Garcia and Brayan Villarreal as part of the deal that also sent pitcher Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox.
Peralta is linked to Major League Baseball's investigation of the Biogenesis clinic in Florida. There are indications from multiple reports that some of the players are expected to receive 50-game suspensions as early as Friday.
"I don't hear nothing," Peralta said. "Try to play this game. I know I'm still here. I don't worry about nothing. I try to play this game today."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland avoided speculation on Peralta.
"Don't ask my anything about the Peralta situation," Leyland said. "Don't ask my anything about it. All of that is Major League Baseball. If you want the answer to any of those questions, call the commissioner's office."
As far as possibly losing Peralta's offense, Leyland said, "I think you're going to miss Jhonny Peralta's bat if something happens. I don't know that anything is going to happen and I'm not going to comment on it until something does happen."
Peralta entered Wednesday's game hitting .308 with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs this season.
---Right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy has been acquired by the San Diego Padres, who will send left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, minor-league pitcher Matt Stites and a future draft pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kennedy, 28, is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts this season, but is only two years removed from being a 21-game winner. The Southern California native is earning $4.265 million in 2013 and is arbitration-eligible in the offseason.
Thatcher, 31, has a 2.10 ERA in 50 relief appearances this season for the Padres.
---The Baltimore Orioles acquired pitcher Bud Norris from the Houston Astros in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes and a competitive balance pick.
Norris. 28, is 6-9 this season with a 3.93 ERA in 126 innings for the Astros. The hard-throwing right-hander, who is signed through 2016, was in his fifth season with Houston.
He will join a Orioles rotation that includes Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Scott Feldman. Hammel could be replaced by Norris as the Orioles attempt to keep pace in the American League East. Baltimore starters had a combined 4.64 ERA entering Wednesday's play.
---The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros before the Wednesday trade deadline in exchange for minor league pitcher Kyle Smith.
Maxwell, 29, is batting .241 with two home runs and and eight RBIs in 40 games this season. Last season, he hit .229 with 18 homers and 53 RBIs in 124 games. With the Royals, the right-handed-hitting Maxwell is likely to play against left-handers while sharing time in the outfield with David Lough and Jarrod Dyson or providing relief in center.
Smith, 20, is 5-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 19 starts this year for Class A Wilmington
---St. Louis Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina will be placed on the 15-day disabled list to give his ailing knee time to rest.
Molina suffered a sprained knee in the third inning of the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Pirates and said after the game he expected to be headed to the disabled list. He returned to St. Louis on Wednesday for an MRI exam. He had an MRI on the same knee on July 6.
Molina won't be easy to replace. He was third in the National League with a .330 batting average and is widely regarded as the best defensive catcher in baseball.
He said he has been playing since June with right knee pain that worsens when he runs.
---The Los Angeles Dodgers made a minor deadline deal on Wednesday, obtaining catcher Drew Butera from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named, according to multiple reports.
The 30-year-old Butera is a light-hitting defensive specialist who figures to be the Dodgers' third catcher behind A.J. Ellis and Tim Federowicz.
Butera has played in only two games this season for Minnesota and in 186 games during his four years with the Twins. He has a .182 career batting average with five home runs and 41 RBIs.
---Despite trade rumors to the contrary, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley appears to be staying put after all.
Two general managers interested in trading for Utley told CBS Sports that the Phillies let them know he is not available and that the team is discusssing with the veteran a two- or three-year contract extension paying him approximately $13 million per season.
CSN Philadelphia first reported that the team is looking to sign Utley to a contract extension and talks have already begun. The Phillies consider Utley their "franchise player" and are reportedly not interested in moving him. He is completing a seven-year, $85 million contract.
However, they are looking to trade away other players, including starting pitcher Cliff Lee.
Utley may get a deal similar to Carlos Beltran's two-year, $26 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro recently said he wants to make Utley a "Phillie for life," which could mean a three-year deal may be considered.
---Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman is considering retiring because of his balky knees and injured hip, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Berkman is on the disabled list with hip inflammation and he also is unable to fully extend a surgically repaired knee. He was eligible to come off the DL on Monday but is unable to resume running.
FoxSports.com reported that the 37-year-old Berkman was to meet with team officials on Wednesday to discuss his future and the possibility of forfeiting the remainder of his salary, which is approximately $4.4 million, this season.