Jonny Gomes is still searching for a better offer

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General manager Walt Jocketty said today that he expects Jonny Gomes to accept or decline the Reds’ offer by Sunday. “He wants to come back, but he’s taking a last look at what’s out there,” Jocketty said.
It’s tough to blame Gomes for continuing to shop around, because despite hitting .267/.338/.541 with 20 homers in 314 plate appearances last season to rank second on the team in OPS behind Joey Votto the Reds have offered him only a minor-league deal. Worse yet, that seems to be his best offer.
Gomes would likely be able to secure a minor-league deal from multiple other teams, but no one seems willing to hand him guaranteed money or a 25-man roster spot and Cincinnati appears to be his best chance for playing time. By re-signing with the Reds he’d likely platoon in left field with Chris Dickerson, getting another 200-300 plate appearances in a role that maximizes his strength against left-handed pitching.
The market for defensively challenged right-handed hitters who’re best suited to platoon against lefties hasn’t been very strong this offseason, with Marcus Thames, Mike Sweeney, Robb Quinlan, and Kevin Millar signing minor-league deals, Ryan Garko, Andruw Jones, and Fernando Tatis getting under $1 million, and Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield still looking for work.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.