According to a post today by Buster Olney, the San Diego Padres failed to report required medical information to MLB which may have affected decisions in several trades during this season, including the White Sox’ trade for James Shields.
All teams are supposed to enter information on players into a central, MLB system each time a player receives any treatment, from handing out a couple ibuprofen to treatment for sore elbows. When teams need to share information about players in a potential trade, teams can give temporary access to their records on specific players to their potential trade partners.
Before this season, though, it seems the Padres held meetings with the training staff to limit their reporting to the MLB system. They decided to only send “details of any disabled-list-related medical situations” to the MLB system, while keeping anything else on an internal, Padres-only system. From the ESPN.com story:
According to the two sources with direct knowledge of the meetings, the athletic trainers were told that by splitting the medical files into two categories, the Padres would benefit in trade discussions.
This came after MLB requested that medical information from training staffs be entered into the central MLB system at the Winter Meetings this past offseason.
The Padres plan fell apart after they traded Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea to Miami. After Rea left his first start with elbow pain, he told the Marlins that he had been receiving treatment for weeks on his elbow. MLB then helped broker a deal that sent Rea back to San Diego and returned pitcher Luis Castillo back to the Marlins.
MLB began investigating the Padres’ medical reporting at that point. According to Olney’s story, the average team entered approximately 60 medical reports by mid-season. The Padres had entered only 10. MLB also contacted the White Sox and “at least one other team” about complaints in the medical reporting from the Padres. According to Olney, all three teams were “enraged” with the withheld medical information.
The important part to note is that if the White Sox were upset with the information provided, Shields probably had been getting some sort of treatment from the Padres and didn’t find out until he joined the Sox.
As I write this, it seems the other team is the Red Sox. MLB has announced that Padres GM AJ Preller has been suspended for a month without pay due to the trade of pitcher Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox. According to the MLB release, the suspension is only for the Drew Pomeranz trade, so right now, it’s not clear if other trades are still being investigated, or if this is all the punishment that MLB thinks is necessary for the Padres and AJ Preller.
Update (6:55 pm):
Ken Rosenthal has spoken. Here’s the apparent infraction.
Sources: Pomeranz and other players traded by #Padres were taking oral medications that SD did not disclose.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 15, 2016
If you were hoping for some relief out of this for the Sox, continue to be disappointed in 2016.