The All-Star break is the slowest news time of the regular season. Just brutal. Even Major League Baseball must be bored, because they released the minor league suspensions at 4pm today instead of waiting until the customary 5pm. Anyway:
Philadelphia Phillies Minor League left-handed pitcher Ranger Suarez has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. The suspension of Suarez, who is currently on the roster of the Venezuelan Summer League Phillies, is effective immediately.
Free agent Minor League right-handed pitcher Daniel Cordero has been suspended for 50 games without pay for testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. The suspension of Cordero will be effective immediately upon his signing with another Major League organization.
Gosh, a Summer League player and a free agent. Slim pickings, even for the drug test perp walk.
Baseball comes back tomorrow evening, everyone.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.