Get ready for a media firestorm over the timing of the Edinson Volquez suspension

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Edinson Volquez.jpgWe’re about to have a major media firestorm over the nature of PED suspensions Why? Because, pursuant to the drug testing policy and the Collective Bargaining Agreement,  Edison Volquez’s suspension begins immediately. As in, while he’s still on the disabled list due to recovery from Tommy John surgery.

What this means is that the 50 games he’ll “miss” are games he never would have pitched in anyway. Sure, his pay will be docked, but that won’t make anyone who expects PED punishments to be anything other than fines — which is basically everyone — happy. Not that his fine will be insubstantial — he’ll be docked roughly $137K of his $445K contract this year, plus some fines I imagine — but his baseball life will not be altered one bit by the suspension.

Think anyone is going to have a problem with this?  Oh, yes. Yes they will. When Manny Ramirez was suspended last year he was able to return for a
minor league rehab assignment prior to the ending of his suspension.
That was a handful of games in Albuquerque and people freaked the hell out.  Volquez will essentially
have no change whatsoever in his recovery and return.

Gentlemen, start your outrage.  I may even consider joining in this time.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.