Ryan Braun had already let it be known he was not taking any questions about his reported link to a Florida anti-aging clinic when he faced reporters outside the Brewers’ spring training clubhouse in Phoenix on Friday.
Before anyone asked a question, the Brewers slugger repeated the restrictions he’d placed on his first spring meeting with the media.
‘‘I understand why a lot of you guys are probably here but I made a statement last week,’’ Braun said. ‘‘I stand behind that statement. I'm not going to address that issue any further. As I stated, I'm happy to cooperate fully into any investigation into this matter.’’
Braun’s name appears in records from the now-defunct Biogenesis of America LLC clinic that is alleged to have provided performance-enhancing substances to several players. Braun was not named in the original report on the clinic in an article in Miami New Times because his name did not have a specific substance next to it in clinic records. Braun’s ties first were reported by Yahoo Sports.
ESPN posted on its website Friday a list written by clinic founder Anthony Bosch that included Braun’s name, and next to it the figure of $1,500. Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, and Francisco Cervelli are also on the list.
That list, reported ESPN, citing a source familiar with the clinic, was for players who received performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch and owed him money. According to the source, there is “no other reason to be on that paper.”
After his name surfaced in the Yahoo report, Braun issued a statement saying he had used Bosch as a consultant during his appeal of his 2011 positive test. Major League Baseball’s 50-game suspension was overturned by an arbiter.
Braun did answer one drug-related question on Friday, regarding the recent announcement by MLB and the players’ union that players will be subject to in-season, unannounced testing for human growth hormone.
‘‘I've always been supportive of the system,’’ Braun said. ‘‘I've always been supportive of additional drug testing or whatever testing they have that’s available.’’
Speaking from Rangers camp in Surprise, Ariz., outfielder Neslon Cruz, another player connected to the Florida clinic, said it was ‘‘shocking’’ and ‘‘depressing’’ to be caught up in MLB’s latest drug investigation.
Cruz, however, said he could not shed any light on why his name is reportedly in the records of Biogenesis of America LLC. ‘‘I want to speak and I want to talk, but my lawyer told me I cannot say anything right now,’’ Cruz said.
Cabrera talks at Jays camp
Cabrera spent his day at Blue Jays camp in Dunedin, Fla., deflecting questions about last year’s 50-game drug suspension as a Giant. The outfielder signed a two-year, $16 million contract with Toronto.
With only slight variations, Cabrera repeatedly said through a translator: ‘‘I made a mistake. I paid the price for it. I'm looking forward to 2013.’’ The reason for his reticence to speak was a pending investigation, he said.
Youkilis: Heart with Yankees
One day after telling the media he will “always be a Red Sock,” Kevin Youkilis entered the Yankees clubhouse in Tampa to some razzing by his new teammates. ‘‘Trust me, there’s no way that was meant to say my heart is in Boston or anything like that. My heart is here with the Yankees,” he said Friday. Youkilis admitted the comment ‘‘by itself looks terrible.’’ Manager Joe Girardi said, “You just can’t erase eight years of anyone’s life, that’s the bottom line . . . I didn’t have a problem with what he said.’’ . . . The Nationals and righthander Jordan Zimmermann agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Terms of the deal were not immediately known. Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94 ERA in 2012) had asked for $5.8 million, while the Nationals submitted $4.6 million. He made $2.3 million last season . . . On the day the Indians made official their four-year contract with outfielder Michael Bourn, the team’s other big free agent pickup, first baseman Nick Swisher, left camp in Goodyear, Ariz., following the death of his mother. Swisher is expected back at camp soon . . . Veteran first baseman Casey Kotchman signed a minor league deal with the Marlins . . . Righthander Jair Jurrjens and the Orioles finalized a minor league contract.