The Rockies extend Todd Helton for two years

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Todd Helton was already locked up for $16.6 million this year and $19.1 million next year with an insane $23 million option for 2012, but the Rockies felt it necessary to extend his contract all the same.  He’s now locked up for 2012 and given a contract for 2013. Financial details were not released, but the club did say that they were deferring a portion of the money over ten years beginning in 2014.

While more money to Todd Helton may not be the best baseball move, he’s insanely popular in Colorado. The deferral of dough avoids the team having to make a smart-but-unpopular decision regarding Helton’s overpriced 2012 option too.

You don’t do this sort of thing with just any player, but every team is probably allowed one or two silly contracts in the interests of loyalty, PR, good will and things like that. Helton is that guy for the Rockies.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.