When news broke yesterday that the New Times had decided to withhold handing over their Biogenesis notes to MLB -- for a strange variety of reasons -- it looked as though the league's chances of doling out suspensions over the allegations were pretty bleak.
Lost among all the newspaper's finger-pointing, however, was the bit of information that could end up being the league's biggest asset: the government is stepping in. Specifically, the Florida Department of Health has launched an investigation into Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch, which could lead to testimony from players listed in the clinician's notes, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
While MLB may have the budget and resources to go after players who used PEDs... it lacks one very important tool the government has at its disposal: subpoena power.
Even if the government focuses on Bosch – the New Times said it could go after him for practicing medicine and compounding drugs without a license – MLB could use testimony to pursue punishment against players.
The big "if" in all of this -- which Passan sort of glosses over -- is the fact that the government is in no way required to cooperate with Major League Baseball. If they want to hand over player testimony to the league then they can, but they are under no obligation to do so. All the league can do at this point -- outside of looking for implicated minor-league players to interview -- is wait and hope that Florida wants to share.
The league can interview all the big-league players implicated in the PED allegations as well, but with the enhanced rights of MLB players under the collective bargaining agreement, it is unlikely that anything of substance would come out of those interviews.