Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games for the usage of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), Major League Baseball announced early Friday morning.
Gordon was suspended for exogenous testosterone and clostebol.
With suspensions not being announced until after the appeal process, Gordon had to have dropped his appeal after the Marlins' 5-3 victory over the Dodgers last night.
It's unfortunate for any player to be suspended for PEDs, but perhaps even more so for Gordon, who was making a name for himself as one of the league's best young players.
The 28-year-old hit .333/.359/.418 with four home runs and 46 RBIs in 653 plate appearances. Gordon added 58 stolen bases in 78 attempts and led the National League in hits and average. Gordon was named to his second straight All-Star team.
According to FanGraphs.com, Gordon was worth 4.6 Wins Above Replacement, adding some great defense to his overall profile.
The Marlins rewarded Gordon with a five-year, $50 million extension at the end of 2015. He was scheduled to make about $3 million this year, half of which he will forfeit while barred.
The team apparently was not aware of the suspension until it was announced. According to Marlins president David Samson via the Miami Herald, the team hopes Gordon will "do whatever is necessary to make it up to our fans, to his teammates, and to this organization."
Gordon will not be eligible for postseason play.
The future is here in Tampa Bay.
The Rays announced on Friday that top left-handed pitching prospect Blake Snell will be coming to the Major Leagues. The news was first reported by Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Snell will make his Major League debut against the New York Yankees, when he will start tomorrow at 1:05 P.M. Eastern.
The 23-year-old Snell has made three starts thus far this season for Triple-A Durham, going 1-1 with a 2.51 ERA and a 21 to 7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 1/3 innings pitched.
MLB.com named Snell as the 12th-best prospect in baseball, giving him a fantastic scouting report, grading out above-average with both his fastball and slider (Snell also offers a changeup), but possessing below-average control.
The Rays drafted Snell in the 1st round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Shorewood High School (Washington).
He's moved rather quickly through the minors, especially in 2015, when he started the season in Single-A Advanced and made it to Triple-A by the year's end.
Overall, Snell went 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA and a 163 to 53 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 134 innings pitched last season, being named the 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America.
Snell's initial Major League impact remains to be seen, but he has not been needed in Tampa thus far because the team has only needed one fifth starter. That was back on April 16, when Erasmo Ramirez made the start.
The Tampa Bay Rays have brought on yet another young starting pitcher to potentially make an impact at the big league level. And his name is Blake Snell.
Texas Rangers' third baseman Adrian Beltre might have just turned 37 last week, but he plays like he just turned 27.
So, despite his age, the Rangers made it a priority to keep him in Arlington, with 2016 being his last season on his current six-year, $96 million deal signed with the club in the 2010-2011 offseason.
And on Friday, the two sides agreed to a two-year, $36 million contract extension, as T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported.
Beltre, who has been with the Rangers since 2011, which is the second-longest amount of time he has been with any club, has a .309/.358/.515 slash line since joining Texas, good for a 133 OPS+.
In this timeframe, Beltre has the second-highest OPS of any third baseman in baseball. The only player he is behind, Miguel Cabrera, has not played third base regularly since 2013.
Now, Beltre will get to finish up his career with the Rangers, the team he may end up going into the Baseball Hall of Fame with. Once this reported deal concludes, he'll have spent more time with the Rangers than anyone else.
Rangers' general manager Jon Daniels and Beltre both expressed sentiments during Spring Training about the possibility and the desire to complete a new deal.
Beltre did say, however, that he was not willing to negotiate an extension in-season, but would be willing to look if an offer was put on the table.
In 2015, Beltre hit .287/.334/.453 with 18 home runs and 83 RBIs in 619 plate apperanaces, posting a 110 OPS+ and a 4.6 FanGraphs' Wins Above Replacement. So far in 2016, he has a .310/.370/.571 line in 46 plate appearances.
Update: Including the 2016 contract restructure, Belt's deal is a six-year, $79 million extension, according to reports.
First baseman Brandon Belt has been a critical part of the San Francisco Giants' lineup his entire career.
He helped capture World Series crowns in 2012 and 2014, while hitting mostly in the heart of their order. He has a consistent bat that, while not finding the tops of many leaderboards, still provides offense sometimes over 40 percent above the league average.
So on early Saturday morning, it only made sense that the Giants agreed to extend Brandon Belt, as Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com reported.
Details of this new contract are not available, but it is a five-year deal that is expected to be slightly larger than the six-year, $75 million deal shortstop Brandon Crawford signed with San Francisco this past offseason.
Belt had already agreed to a one-year, $6.2 million contract for 2016 to avoid arbitration. That figure could "tweak," according to Pavlovic, and Belt could receive more money.
Belt had one more year of arbitration eligibility next offseason before being qualified to hit the free agent market after the 2017 season.
Now, under his new contract, the Giants will have bought out Belt's first four free agent seasons, giving them team control through the 2021 season. Pavlovic reports that the sides were discussing an annual average value of about $16 million from '17 on.
In 2015, Belt hit .280/.356/.478 (135 wRC+) with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs in 556 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 4.3 Wins Above Replacement.
For his career, the soon-to-be 28-year-old has a slash line of .271/.348/.455 with 63 home runs and 237 RBIs in parts of six seasons.
Brandon Belt now becomes the next Giants' infielder to earn his big payday.
With the San Diego Padres desperately needing some offense to begin their 2016 season, they made a small, possibly rewarding signing on Thursday night.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, first baseman James Loney has agreed to a minor league deal with the team.
The Padres' offense has been atrocious, actually being shut out in their first three games against the Dodgers. Loney obviously won't be expected to immediately come in and fix this issue, but is a low-risk, high-reward type deal that could be key come the middle of the season.
Released by the Rays following Spring Training, Loney is a ten-year Major League veteran with the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Tampa Bay that was among the league's satisfactory hitters during his prime.
Now almost 32, Loney has lost quite a bit of pop from his best days, but was still an above-average hitter at the big league level just two seasons ago.
A full-time first baseman, Loney should be able to be a solid option for the Padres off the bench if he is promoted to the Majors. For the time being, Wil Myers is the Padres' starting option at the position.
In 388 plate appearances last season, Loney hit .280/.322/.357 with four home runs and 32 RBIs. According to FanGraphs, he was worth -1.3 Wins Above Replacement in 2015.
Loney did have a good year the prior season, however, hitting .290/.336/.380 with nine homers and 69 RBIs in 651 plate appearances.
It remains to be seen whether he will be able to find his old stroke in San Diego, but if he can, the Padres' offense may get a slight boost going forward. At this point, they can only hope so.