Major League Baseball suspends four minor leaguers for using drugs

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Update: There was a fifth player suspended: Royals minor league pitcher Arnaldo Hernandez will sit 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamines, per Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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Major League Baseball suspended four minor league players on Thursday for positive drug tests. The players are:

  • Free agent pitcher Mario Alcantara, suspended 50 games for amphetamines (via Evan Drellich)
  • Red Sox catcher Jake Romanski, suspended 50 games for amphetamines (via Drellich)
  • Astros pitcher Brendan McCurry, suspended 50 games for methamphetamines (via Jake Kaplan)
  • Indians pitcher Dakody Clemmer, suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse (via Paul Hoynes)

The suspensions will be effective at the start of the 2017 regular season.

Alcantara, 23, spent last season with High-A Salem, putting up a 3.16 ERA with a 68/48 K/BB ratio in 79 2/3 innings. He made one start and 31 relief appearances. The Red Sox signed Alcantara out of the Dominican Republic in 2009.

Romanski, who turned 26 years old today, spent the 2016 season with Double-A Portland, batting .308/.338/.410 with 26 extra-base hits, 38 RBI, and 34 runs scored in 357 plate appearances. He was selected by the Red Sox in the 14th round of the 2013 draft.

McCurry, 24, split the season between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, putting up an aggregate 3.07 ERA with a 94/21 K/BB ratio in 82 innings over 55 relief appearances and one start. The Athletics picked him in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft.

Clemmer, 20, pitched his first season of professional baseball last year in rookie ball. He made 17 relief appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings, posting a 7.71 ERA and a 21/13 K/BB ratio. He was selected in the 19th round of the 2016 draft by the Indians.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.