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.
The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.
Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.
Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.
The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.