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MLB using testimony from minor leaguers to condemn players with Biogenesis ties

Jeff Passan
Yahoo Sports

While major league players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal have yet to provide substantive information to Major League Baseball, multiple minor leaguers have discussed in detail their transactions with Anthony Bosch's clinic that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to dozens of players, sources with knowledge of the interviews told Yahoo! Sports.

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Alex Rodriguez is one of several MLB stars that could be done in by minor leaguer testimonies. (AP)

Under threat of suspension, the minor league players gave testimony that Major League Baseball plans to use to confirm the veracity of Bosch's story, the sources said. The league last week cut a deal with Bosch, the proprietor of the so-called wellness clinic, to drop a lawsuit against him, provide him with protection and try to sway the government from prosecuting him in exchange for his detailing players' involvement with Biogenesis.

The revelation that multiple minor league players used Biogenesis products confirms a long-held belief that immunity could be an option for major leaguers and that the list of players who sought out Bosch exceeds the 20 or so publicly named from his logbook. One source said: "There are others who went there. Big names. I don't know if they're in the notes, but if Tony tells the whole story, they'll be in there."

Minor leaguers' reasons for talking with MLB were obvious: Players not on a team's 40-man roster are not protected by the MLB Players Association and thus are subject to discipline at the league's whims. The suspension of alleged Biogenesis client Cesar Carrillo for 100 games – 50 for a non-analytical positive after his name was found in Bosch's logbook, 50 for lying to the league – spooked players enough that they were compelled to describe their interactions with Biogenesis.

Corroborating any of Bosch's testimony would be a win for MLB, which is seeking suspensions for Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, among others. The credibility of Bosch – he allegedly provided the PEDs to players, is not a doctor and was reported by the New York Daily News to have asked Rodriguez to pay him off for his silence – is one of MLB's greatest hurdles in potentially disciplining players.

So is getting major leaguers to cooperate. Lawyers for the MLBPA and players' counsel have agreed that, at this point in the investigation, staying mum is the best course of action, sources said. The league has informally spoken with players, waiting for more of its investigation to crystallize before approaching those whom it wants to discipline.

"Players aren't going to say anything – until they know what [Bosch] said," one source with knowledge of the players' plan said. "There's nothing to be gained from talking now. As long as they don't say anything, they're not lying."

The trickiest part for the union is maintaining solidarity among a group that could fracture if the league offers immunity in exchange for cooperation, as it did with the minor leaguers. Union lawyers have been present at the meetings thus far and will continue to be after the league finishes its interrogation of Bosch, which is expected to end in the coming days.

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