MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major League Baseball officials have informed the players union which players the league will suspend as part of its investigation into performance enhancing drugs allegedly provided by the Coral Gables-based Biogenesis clinic.
Both sides are trying to reach an agreement on as many suspensions as possible to avoid any grievance hearings. Thus far, the only player that has publicly said he plans to mount a fight against the charges is New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Rumors have been swirling all week that an announcement on the suspensions could come at any time this week. However, the talks with players union could push back an announcement on the suspensions until Friday.
Three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees stands to receive the longest suspension. While 50 games is the standard for a first offense, the stiffer penalties for some players are tied to other alleged violations, including not being truthful to MLB investigators.
Three 2013 All-Stars could face bans: Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera and Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta. In a sign Peralta’s suspension might be imminent, the Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston on Tuesday night as part of a three-way trade with the Chicago White Sox.
Another 2013 All-Star, Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon, was suspended last year following a positive testosterone test, as were Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal. They are not expected to serve any additional suspensions because both have already been out for at least 50 games.
Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Seattle catcher Jesus Montero also have been linked in media reports to Biogenesis.
Melky Cabrera was the 2012 All-Star game MVP while with San Francisco and Colon won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award with the Los Angeles Angels.
Players who don’t reach agreements can ask the players’ association to file grievances, which would lead to hearings before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Discipline for first offenders under the drug agreement usually is not announced until after the penalty is upheld, but there is an exception when the conduct leading to the discipline already has been made public.
Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun was the first player to reach an agreement with MLB. The 2011 NL MVP accepted a season-ending 65-game suspension last week. Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone in October 2011, but a 50-game suspension was overturned the following February by an arbitrator who ruled Braun’s urine sample was handled improperly.
Rodriguez faces the harshest penalty. The Yankees expected him to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation, and not being truthful with MLB in the past when he discussed his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada.
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