BOSTON -- That Major League Baseball took the unusual step of suspending San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller was considered important to some of his peers, because it demonstrated that you cannot simply choose to cheat fellow individual GMs without suffering consequences. Preller has gained some sort of historic ignominy with a 30-game penalty that is seemingly without precedent, according to one baseball historian:
@msimonespn I have never heard of one.— Mark Armour (@MarkArmour04) September 15, 2016
Others had a much different view of the punishment. "He won," said one evaluator, referring to Preller, who oversees the Padres’ baseball operation department, including the athletics trainers. "He doctored medical records and got one of the best pitching prospects in baseball while doing it."
The evaluator was referring to Anderson Espinoza, sent by the Red Sox to the Padres in return for Drew Pomeranz in the teams' trade on July 14. According to sources, it was only after Pomeranz joined Boston that the Red Sox learned of treatment that the left-hander had been receiving for discomfort in his elbow -- because of the mandate made by San Diego's club officials during spring training, when the organization's athletic trainers were ordered to organize medical information into two separate files, one of which was private to the Padres.
The details related to major injuries, like those that forced players to the disabled list, were documented in files accessible to MLB. But preventive measures and some treatment specifics were kept in a separate file, which is why, in the end, the Red Sox didn't know about Pomeranz's ongoing treatment, and the Marlins had no awareness of the existing elbow discomfort of right-hander Colin Rea, who broke down just four innings after being traded to Miami.