Alex Rodriguez suspended through 2014 by MLB for drugs
Mon, 05 Aug 2013 18:13:04 GMT —
Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case - the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.
Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension last month and previous punishments bring to 18 the total number of players disciplined for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.
The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball's highest-paid star. His suspension covers 211 games, starting Thursday, and he is expected to appeal.
The New York Yankees slugger admitted four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has repeatedly denied using them since.
A look at the penalties agreed to by players and Major League Baseball on Monday in the Biogenesis drug case, along with their salaries lost:
Francisco Cervelli, catcher, New York Yankees, 50 games: On the disabled list since breaking his right hand when it was hit by a foul ball April 26, Cervelli has said he consulted with Biogenesis after a foot injury in 2011 but did not receive any treatment from the facility. He insisted a recommendation to visit the clinic did not come from an agent or another player and that he never spoke with Alex Rodriguez about the clinic. The injury occurred during what was shaping up to be Cervelli's best season as a major leaguer. He was praised for his handling of the pitching staff and was hitting .269 with three homers and eight RBIs in 52 at-bats. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week "it's looking more and more like it's going to be unrealistic to see Cervelli" again this season because of finger and elbow pain. Salary lost: $140,806.
Cesar Puello, outfielder, New York Mets, on option to Double-A Binghamton, 50 games: The 22-year-old has been in the Mets' minor league system since 2008. Considered a top prospect, he has been on the 40-man roster since November 2011 but has not made his major league debut. He is hitting .328 with 16 homers, 73 RBIs and 24 steals this season at Binghamton. Salary lost: $21,831.
Jordany Valdespin, second baseman, New York Mets, on option to Triple-A Las Vegas, 50 games: The 25-year-old Valdespin reached the majors last year and quickly showed power off the bench with a penchant for pinch-hit homers. But he also has irked teammates and opponents with his flashy antics on and off the field. Unpopular in the clubhouse, he was hitting .188 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 133 at-bats when he was demoted to Las Vegas last month. He's batting .466 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 16 games at Triple-A. Salary lost: $61,773.
Antonio Bastardo, left-handed pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies, 50 games: At times in his career, the 27-year-old has been a very effective reliever. He is 3-2 with two saves and a 2.32 ERA this season, and the hard thrower averages more than a strikeout per inning. His main problem has been bouts of wildness. Bastardo hadn't previously been linked to the Biogenesis scandal or performance-enhancing drugs. He has pitched for five seasons with the Phillies in several roles. He's done well in the playoffs, not allowing a run in five postseason appearances. Salary lost: $382,514.
Everth Cabrera, shortstop, San Diego Padres, 50 games: A switch-hitter who is one of the top base stealers in the big leagues, Cabrera is making $1,275,000 this season. He was the lone All-Star from the struggling Padres, but didn't get into the game. Cabrera said during spring training that he was "a little surprised" and "disappointed" that his name reportedly was listed in Biogenesis records, but otherwise declined specific comment. He did not say whether he had taken, purchased or received performance-enhancing drugs. He said at the time that he would fully cooperate with MLB. The 26-year-old Cabrera has been with the Padres since reaching the big leagues in 2009. He is hitting .283 and leads the National League with 37 steals. Salary lost: $348,361.
Nelson Cruz, right fielder, Texas Rangers, 50 games: The 2011 AL championship series MVP, Cruz had never previously been linked to performance-ending drugs. After his name showed up in the Miami New Times report on Biogenesis of America, attorneys for Cruz issued a statement that read, "To the extent these allegations and inferences refer to Nelson, they are denied." When Cruz reported to spring training in February he said it was "shocking" and "depressing" to see his name connected with Biogenesis. Even with the lingering questions, he became an All-Star for the second time last month. Cruz, who turned 33 on July 1, is eligible for free agency after this season. He signed a $16 million, two-year contract to avoid salary arbitration in February 2012, when the Rangers were fresh off two straight World Series appearances. He leads second-place Texas with 27 homers and 76 RBIs this year. Salary lost: $2,732,240.
Fautino De Los Santos, right-handed pitcher, San Diego Padres, assigned to Double-A San Antonio, 50 games: The 27-year-old was 3-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 34 relief appearances for Oakland in 2011 and didn't have a decision while compiling a 3.00 ERA in six appearances last year, when he spent most of the season in the minors. He was traded to Milwaukee on July 29 last year, then claimed off waivers by San Diego on Feb. 6. Optioned to Triple-A Tucson (PCL), he went 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two relief appearances before he was released on May 15.
Sergio Escalona, left-handed pitcher, Houston Astros, assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi, 50 games: Escalona was the winning pitcher in his major league debut, throwing a scoreless inning for Philadelphia in 2009. He made 49 relief appearances for the Astros in 2011, going 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA. Escalona missed the entire 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and returned this year, going 1-2 with a 6.60 ERA in 12 minor league games.
Fernando Martinez, outfielder, with Houston Astros at time of violation, now New York Yankees, assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 50 games: The 24-year-old has a .206 batting average, nine homers and 29 RBIs in 99 major league games over five seasons with the New York Mets (2009-11) and Astros (2012-13). Sent outright to the minors in May, he was traded to the Yankees in June for minor league right-hander Charles Basford.
Jesus Montero, designated hitter and catcher, Seattle Mariners, on option to Triple-A Tacoma, 50 games: The 23-year-old Montero was acquired by Seattle before the 2012 season in a trade that sent right-hander Michael Pineda to the Yankees. Montero was considered one of the top prospects in baseball after a brief stint with New York at the end of 2011. He got off to a solid start in Seattle last year, hitting .260 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs. The Mariners were hoping he could take over as the team's full-time catcher this season, but that never materialized. After he was linked to Biogenesis in the offseason, Montero was not in the shape the Mariners wanted when he arrived at spring training. He played in 29 games before being demoted to the minors in late May and had barely settled in at Tacoma when he sustained a left knee injury that required surgery. He recently rejoined Tacoma after a short stint in the Arizona Rookie League. Salary lost: $79,820.
Jordan Norberto, left-handed pitcher, Oakland Athletics at time of violation, now free agent, 50 games: The 27-year-old has a 4-3 record with a 4.00 ERA in 78 games with Arizona (2010) and Oakland (2011-12). He started spring training with Oakland and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on March 29. He appeared in three games for the River Cats, allowing six runs and walking seven in 1 1-3 innings before being placed on the disabled list April 13 with a strained left elbow. He was released on May 8.
Jhonny Peralta, shortstop, Detroit Tigers, 50 games: The 31-year-old Peralta made his second All-Star team this year, and his absence will make things tougher for the Tigers as they try to outlast Cleveland and win their third straight AL Central title. Detroit acquired infielder Jose Iglesias from Boston in a three-team deal shortly before the trade deadline to bolster its chances in case Peralta was suspended. Peralta is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Detroit exercised a $6 million option to keep him for 2013. He began his career with Cleveland in 2003 and played for the Indians until 2010. He is batting .305 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. Salary lost: $1,639,344.