Major League Baseball and its players’ union announced Friday they are toughening penalties and increasing the frequency of testing in the most substantial revision to their drug agreement in eight years.
Players suspended during the season for a performance- enhancing drug violation will not be eligible for that year’s postseason. In addition, discipline will increase from 50 games to 80 for a first testing violation and from 100 games to a season-long 162 for a second. A third violation remains a lifetime ban.
Players who serve a PED suspension also will not be eligible for automatic postseason players’ pool money shares but may be given cash awards at the discretion of their teammates.
A player serving a season-long suspension will lose all his pay. Under the previous rules Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the entire 2014 season, will receive $2,868,852 of his $25 million salary this year.
An arbitrator would be allowed to reduce a suspension for a first or second testing violation by up to 50 percent if a player proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that a positive test was not caused by his “significant fault or negligence.” However, penalties may not be cut for muscle-building substances such as testosterone, human growth hormone, Boldenone, Nandrolone and Stanozolol.
There will also be significant increases in random urine and blood tests.
$292 million contract for Tigers’ Cabrera
Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera agreed to a record $292 million, 10-year contract with the Detroit Tigers.
Cabrera was due $44 million over the final two years of his $152.3 million, eight-year contract. The new agreement incorporates that money and adds $248 million over the following eight years.
Cabrera’s average of $29.2 million is second only to the $30,714,286 that Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw averages under his $215 million, seven-year deal in January.
The new deal includes $30 million options for 2024 and 2025 that would become guaranteed if Cabrera finishes among the top 10 in MVP voting in the previous season.
Around the League
The Boston Red Sox say three-time all-star Grady Sizemore will start in center field on opening day. … San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum was struck by a line drive and left the game against Oakland with a left foot injury. He is now questionable for his Thursday start against Arizona. … The Arizona Diamondbacks say reliever David Hernandez has a damaged ligament in his right elbow, an injury that could require season-ending surgery. … Brewers shortstop Jean Segura says his sore right shoulder is feeling better, though it’s unclear whether the All-Star shortstop will be ready when the season starts next week. … Cole Hamels has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Philadelphia Phillies with left biceps tendinitis.
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