ESPN reported earlier today that Major League Baseball, rebuffed by Miami New Times, had chosen to “take an unprecedented step in the Biogenesis of America investigation,” paying a former employee of the notorious wellness clinic for documents linking MLB players to the purchase of performance enhancing drugs. Later in the day, the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt claimed MLB’s urgency was motivated in no small measure by a competing buyer for the same information.

Two sources said that the investigators were told by the ex-employees and others that documents said to be from the clinic had been put up for sale by various people and that Alex Rodriguez had arranged for an intermediary to purchase at least some of them.

That, in turn, led Major League Baseball to conclude that other players linked to the clinic would also attempt to buy documents to conceal incriminating evidence and accelerated baseball’s own efforts to purchase as many documents as it could.

A spokesman for Rodriguez denied on Friday that his client had arranged to acquire any documents.

Major League Baseball has concluded that Rodriguez bought such documents to keep investigators form obtaining them.