Minor league free agent Justin Dowdy suspended for refusing a drug test

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Here’s one way to avoid there being and errors or irregularities in the testing procedures:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that free agent Minor League left-handed pitcher Justin Dowdy has received a 50-game suspension after refusing to take a drug test, a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Dowdy is effective immediately upon his signing with a Major League organization.

Personally, I blame Ryan Braun.  Everyone said he and his lawyers have ruined testing. Well, here’s your proof!

OK, maybe not.

Anyway, Dowdy, originally drafted by the White Sox, was last seen in the Giants organization. He’s actually spent more time in independent leagues than he has in affiliated baseball.  And I’m guessing this is the last we hear of him.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.