12 MLB Players Accept 50-Game Suspensions for Biogenesis Connections [UPDATED]
Update 3:10 p.m. (EST): MLB has released an official statement confirming the suspensions of the players listed below. As for Alex Rodriguez, he will be suspended for 211 games, a period starting Thursday, August 8, and extending through the remainder of this season, the 2013 postseason and the full 2014 regular season. Rodriguez will appeal the suspension.
Major League Baseball will reportedly suspend 12 players for 50 games each for violating the sport’s performance-enhancing-drugs policy in connection to a Miami health clinic called Biogenesis. The biggest name in MLB’s investigation, three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez, is the only player who plans to appeal his suspension, which is believed to be far larger than the 50 games given to the 12 players who accepted their punishments.
The players receiving 50-game bans are:
- Antonio Bastardo (P, Philadelphia Phillies)
- Everth Cabrera (SS, San Diego Padres)
- Francisco Cervelli (C, Yankees)
- Nelson Cruz (OF, Texas Rangers)
- Jesus Montero (C, Seattle Mariners)
- Jhonny Peralta (SS, Detroit Tigers)
- Jordany Valdespin (OF, New York Mets)
- Jordan Norberto (P, free agent)
- Fautino De Los Santos (P, San Diego Padres prospect)
- Sergio Escalona (P, Houston Astros prospect)
- Fernando Martinez (OF, New York Yankees prospect)
- Cesar Puello (OF, New York Mets prospect)
Reports suggest that baseball officials plan to suspend Rodriguez, baseball’s highest-paid player, for the rest of this season plus all of 2014, which would be the longest suspension ever handed down for PED usage. It is believed that A-Rod’s lengthier ban is due to his alleged recruiting of other players to come to the clinic.
In another interesting twist, Rodriguez just came off a minor-league rehab stint in Trenton and plans to play Monday night for the Yankees in Chicago against the White Sox. While he appeals the suspension, he will probably be allowed to play, though that is not certain yet.
The list of players runs the gamut from a young free-agent pitcher (Norberto) to several minor leaguers (De Los Santos, Escalona, Martinez, Puello) to All-Stars (Cabrera, Cruz, Perhalta). Last month, former National League MVP Ryan Braun agreed to a 65-game suspension, which will keep him off the field until 2014.
Three other players whose names were released in connection to the Biogenesis clinic—Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal and Melky Cabrera—were either cleared or not given any additional punishment. All three already served 50-game suspensions last year.
Two more players, Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals and Danny Valencia of the Baltimore Orioles, were mentioned in the January Miami New Times article that broke the Biogenesis story, but they did not receive any discipline.