Ryan Braun tested positive for synthetic testosterone

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According to Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Braun, who won the 2011 National League MVP Award, is disputing the result through arbitration. If it is upheld, he will face a 50-game suspension.

It should be noted that Major League Baseball has not once overturned the result of a PED test.

Here’s more from Fainaru-Wada and Quinn, who revealed the stunning news on Saturday evening as part of an “Outside the Lines” investigation:

The 28-year-old Braun had to provide a urine sample for testing during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test sometime in late October — about a month before he was named the National League’s most valuable player.

The positive result was triggered by elevated levels of testosterone in Braun’s system, the sources also told “Outside the Lines.” A subsequent, more comprehensive test revealed the testosterone was synthetic — not produced by Braun’s body.

Braun, 28, batted .332 with a .994 OPS, 33 home runs and 111 RBI in 150 games this year. He posted an .866 OPS and hit only 25 home runs in 2010, somewhat of a down season for the slugging left fielder.

The Brewers signed Braun to a five-year, $105 million contract extension in April, adding to a previous eight-year pact that he inked with Milwaukee in May of 2008. He’s under team control through 2021.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.