Royals acquire Humberto Quintero and Jason Bourgeois from Astros

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Kansas City has added a pair of bench players by acquiring catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois from the Astros for minor leaguer Kevin Chapman and a player to be named later.

Quintero became expendable in Houston with Jason Castro back from injury and veteran Chris Snyder signed this offseason, but his ineptitude offensively makes him little more than a mediocre backup. He’ll split time behind the plate with Brayan Pena until Salvador Perez returns from knee surgery around midseason.

Bourgeois brings speed and defense to a fourth outfielder role, but he’s 30 years old and has hit just .262 with two homers and a .631 OPS in 192 games as a big leaguer. His minor-league production isn’t a whole lot better, so presumably he’ll back up Lorenzo Cain rather than steal his playing time.

Chapman was the Royals’ fourth-round pick in 2010 and has racked up impressive strikeout numbers in the low minors, so he’s a pretty solid haul for a pair of bench guys regardless of who the PTBNL turns out to be.

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.