Another Nationals catching prospect suspended

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Last week Nationals catching prospect Adrian Nieto was suspended 50 games after testing positive for banned substances named Oxandrolone and Metabolite.

Yesterday another Nationals catching prospect, 22-year-old Hector Taveras, was suspended 25 games after he was, according to the Associated Press, “found in possession of an unauthorized syringe.”

First-time violators of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program typically receive 50-game suspensions like Nieto, but because Taveras was found with a syringe rather than the actual drug(s) his suspension was lessened.

Taveras, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic, made his professional debut last season by hitting .300 with a .361 on-base percentage and .369 slugging percentage in 40 games for the Nationals’ rookie-level Gulf Coast League team.

MLBPA agrees to extend deadline for new posting agreement between MLB, NPB

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Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.

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Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.

Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.

Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.