Cardinals minor leaguer suspended 50 games for “drug of abuse”

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Alan Ahmady, a first base prospect and former 11th-round draft pick in the Cardinals’ farm system, was suspended for 50 games after a second positive test for a “drug of abuse.”

Because the minor-league season is over Ahmady will serve his punishment next year, essentially missing one-third of the 2013 campaign that he’ll probably spend at Double-A after hitting .299 with four homers and an .839 OPS in 76 games at high Single-A this year.

While the handful of big-league suspensions have gotten all the headlines, nearly 100 minor leaguers have been suspended this season as part of the drug treatment and prevention program.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.