Volquez: the drugs were for fertility treatments

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The Reds’ flagship station, 700 WLW, reports that Edinson Volquez has released a statement. The upshot: the drugs he was taking were prescribed by a Dominican doctor to help Volquez and his wife “start a family,” and that the drugs just also happened to be on the MLB-banned drug list.

I’ll defer to a fertility expert on this one, but I wasn’t aware of any male fertility drugs that also appear on baseball’s banned list. There are female fertility drugs that are there — Manny Ramirez took them — but those are used to cycle down from steroids, not to help men make babies.

Is Volquez playing the family man card — the “I was recovering from injury excuse only works for Andy Pettitte, don’t you know — or am I just missing something here?

UPDATEhere’s the entire list of banned substances in Major League Baseball.  Many on the “performance enhancing list” are male hormores, of course.  Quick reference to Wikipedia reveals several of them are used in male fertility treatments as well.

No clue if Volquez was really using them for male fertility treatments or if that’s just an excuse.  Kind of doesn’t matter, though, given that the “whys” of it are irrelevant as far as the drug program is concerned.  And let’s be clear about this: any player who was proceeding on a course of male fertility treatments should damn well have better consulted the union and baseball first to make sure that the admirable goal of wanting to have children was not going to interfere with the admirable goal of wanting to stay within the rules of the game.

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.