Source associated with Ryan Braun says positive test was for “prohibited substance,” not PED

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From Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

ESPN reported that Braun tested positive for a PED that gave him an abnormally high testosterone level, which proved to be synthetic and therefore not produced by the body.

But my source — and again, this is from Braun’s end and not MLB — familiar with the test’s findings says the “prohibited substance” was not a performance-enhancing drug or steroid of any kind. And the source says there has “never” been a result like this in the history of the MLB testing program.

Synthetic testosterone sure sounds performance-enhancing, but maybe the details in ESPN’s story aren’t completely correct. Again, we’ll have to wait for Ryan Braun’s appeal of the positive test to be heard.

Either this is a case of semantics by a person trying to protect Braun, or the whole ordeal is in for a strange turn. What stands out from Haudricourt’s report is the part about the result being unprecedented in MLB.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.

Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.