MLB and the Players' Association have agreed to new, stricter, penalties for PED use. The first positive test results in a 80-game suspension, the second in a 162-game suspension, and a third test results in a lifetime ban. In order to prevent a recurrence of guys like Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta returning from a suspension rested at the end of the season, any player suspended will be ineligible for the playoffs. There will also be increased testing and, for a player caught, there will be a total of 9 random tests a year for the rest of his career.
There were also attempts to reduce accidental use. Supplements will be provided to all players which do not violate the policy. In addition, an arbitration panel can cut the first and second suspensions in half if the player argues that taking the PED was accidental.
While the latter sounds nice, give that the last arbitrator who ruled against MLB was subsequently fired, I wouldn't count on a whole lot of players successfully proving unintentional dosages. I continue to find Bud Selig's obsession with this issue highly ironic for the guy who turned a blind eye to steroids when Sosa and McGwire were "saving the game." It brings to mind the famous scene from Casablanca:
- The Tigers say that Max Scherzer rejected their very lucrative contract offer. Agent Scott Boras says it was the Tigers who rejected their offer. Whoever is telling the truth here, the upside is that Scherzer will likely be a free agent this winter.
- Following a bone-headed running play in Sidney, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly seems to be nearing the end of his patience with OF Yasiel Puig.
- David Ortiz signed a potential 4 year extension with the Red Sox (the last two years are vesting options). The contract would take him to his age 40 season, increasing the likelihood that Ortiz retires with the Red Sox.
- The Rangers are really having injury problems. Both 2B Jurickson Profar (this does *not* help my fantasy team) and C Geovany Soto will miss 2 1/2 months with injuries. Profar suffered a muscle tear in his shoulder and Soto a torn miniscus. Rough start for a team that has had two straight rough finishes.
- The Rangers have signed ex-Cub Scott Baker.
- The Tigers agreed on a 8-year, $248 million extension with Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers have now locked Cabrera up through his age 41 season, at a total price tag of $292 million. The deal was high controversial with sportswriters. However, Mike Ilitch clearly wants a World Series title in his lifetime and this deal locks up the most devastating hitter of his era for an extended push.
- A day after the Cabrera deal, Mike Trout and the Angels agreed on a 6-year, $144.5 million extension. The contract buys out all of his arb years and two years of free agency. It makes you wonder what their internal arb numbers for him were. The scary thing is he'll only be 29 when he hits free agency.
- Nice story here. After several years lost to injury, Grady Sizemore will be the starting center fielder for the Red Sox. The move likely pushes Jackie Bradley, Jr., back to AAA.
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