UPDATE III: Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman reports the identity of the PED positive: It’s Edinson Volquez of the Cincinnati Reds. Volquez will be suspended for 50 games. Of course, he’s already out at least until the fall recovering from Tommy John surgery.
UPDATE II: I have learned that the player to be suspended is a National League pitcher.
learned that the PED suspension is NOT a New York player.
10:28 A.M. Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll tweeted this first yesterday afternoon, and I have since confirmed it with a baseball source: a major league player is going to be suspended for a PED violation, possible as early as this week.
I could not confirm the player’s identity, but my source tells me that it’s a “semi-big” name, though not a “huge” name. I imagine that, once the name is revealed, we’ll have more fun arguing about what being a “semi-big” player truly means than we will wondering why he was not a bigger name despite taking PEDs.
Updates as they come . . .
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.