Report: Sosa tested positive in 2003

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The New York Times is reporting
that Sammy Sosa is one of the 104 players on the list of those who
tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003.

Sosa joins Alex Rodriguez as the only players to have their names
leaked from the list. According to the Times, the lawyers who had
knowledge of Sosa’s inclusion on the 2003 list did not know the
substance for which he tested positive.

Sosa has long been linked to steroids without their being any actual
evidence fingering him. Besides the obvious increase of power as his
career went along, he also had a corked bat incident working against him. Plus, he didn’t want to pee in a cup for Rick Reilly.

Sosa has repeatedly denied using steroids. He did so in front of the
House Government Reform Committee in March 2005, when he joined Mark
McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and others in speaking on baseball’s PED
problem. “To be clear,” he said, “I have never taken illegal
performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone
inject me with anything.”

The timing of the leak is interesting, given Sosa’s recent comments
on waiting to be elected to the Hall of Fame. ESPNDeportes reported
early in the month that Sosa, who last played with the Rangers in 2007,
would soon officially announce his retirement from baseball.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.