Bill Shaikin with the Los Angeles Times reports that the team would have no basis for breaking Matthews’ contract unless he was convicted of a crime.
After an initial review, lawyers advising the Angels have indicated the team probably would not have grounds to void the contract of outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. even if prosecutors can prove he received an illegal shipment of human growth hormone.
In the absence of a criminal conviction, the Angels probably could not void the contract, even if they would want to do so, according to two highly placed baseball sources. The Angels signed Matthews to a five-year, $50-million deal in November.
David Soares, the New York district attorney leading the inquiry into allegations of criminal sales of controlled substances, has said it focuses on distributors, not consumers.
If no charges are filed against any alleged recipients, Matthews would not be at risk of conviction. Investigators found documents linking Matthews to a 2004 shipment of HGH for which a prescription was written in Florida, filled in Alabama and shipped to the Texas address of a former minor league teammate, SI.com reported.
No word on how this reconciles with owner Arte Moreno’s "promise" to resolve the matter by Opening Day.
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