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.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.