Freddy Galvis gets 50-game PED suspension

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Apparently, he’s the new Manny Alexander.

Injured Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended 50 games Tuesday after testing positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance.

In a statement, Galvis claimed that “a trace amount of a banned substances — 80 parts in a trillion — was detected in my urine sample” and that he’d never knowingly take a banned substance. He apologized to “all of my fans, especially here in Philadelphia and back home in Venezuela, to my teammates and to the Phillies organization.”

Taking over as the Phillies’ starting second baseman with Chase Utley out, Galvis was hitting .226/.254/.363 with three homers and 24 RBI in 190 at-bats when he suffered a back injury earlier this month. The injury was later diagnosed as a fractured vertebra and was expected to sideline Galvis for at least another month, if not for most of the rest of the season.

Galvis will be able to serve his suspension while on the disabled list, so it might not actually cost him any additional time. It will cost him about $150,000 in salary, though.

While Galvis’ offensive production was modest, it was still a somewhat pleasant surprise given his history. He had 19 extra-base hits in 190 at-bats for the Phillies, an average of one every 10 at-bats. In his four minor league seasons, he averaged one extra-base hit every 19.6 at-bats. His 15 doubles led the Phillies at the time of his injury.

Update: The Phillies have released a statement:

The Phillies continue to believe in and endorse Major League Baseball’s drug policy. We also support Freddy Galvis in his determination to put this matter behind him and we look forward to his return as a productive member of the Phillies as soon as possible.

After the suspension was announced, Galvis tweeted, in Spanish, about turning the page:

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.