The site of the Biogenesis clinic was a hot spot for MLB and health department investigators. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Major League Baseball officials purchased documents they likely knew were stolen and had been warned not to obtain, thus impeding the Florida Department of Health's investigation of Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, sources told ESPN's Mike Fish.
A state official said that, as a result of MLB's actions, the Department of Health's case against Bosch ended in April with a $5,000 fine and a cease-and-desist letter telling Bosch, who wasn't licensed to practice medicine, to stop doing so — essentially a slap on the wrist. His penalty was reduced to $3,000 on July 31.
The official said MLB knew purchasing the documents would hinder their investigation — by preventing them from gathering additional evidence — and MLB never told the Department of Health it had obtained the records.
SI WIRE: A-Rod's attorneys may call Bud Selig to testify
"They can't say they weren't warned," the official said.
An MLB official denied impeding the investigation to Fish and suggested the Department of Health's probe was more regulatory than criminal.
The health department ultimately stepped aside at the request of federal investigators, but only after MLB's purchasing of the documents.
The MLB source also said its investigation would have been "extremely impeded" without the documents, saying "nobody would have been disciplined."
MLB's investigation led to the suspension of a dozen players, including Alex Rodriguez for 211 games, a ban that is currently under appeal.
SI WIRE: Girardi says A-Rod's appeal 'complicates' Yankees' offseason plans