Minor league free agent left-hander Erick Hurtado suspended 50 games for PEDs

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MLB announced earlier this afternoon that minor league free agent left-hander Erick Hurtado was suspended 50 games for testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug.

Hurtado, a 17-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic, just signed with the Cardinals last month. However, his contract has already been terminated.

Ben Badler of Baseball America notes that Hurtado was throwing around 86-88 mph last year around July 2, but that his velocity was in the 88-91 mph range before he signed with St. Louis.

Hurtado’s suspension will begin as soon as he signs with another major league team.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.