Scott Boras: Mike Gonzalez “should sign in the next 10 days”

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Mike Gonzalez is still out there as a free agent after failing to latch on with a team this winter, but his agent Scott Boras told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com this afternoon that the veteran left-hander “should sign in the next ten days.”

Boras, who was in Arlington today for Ivan Rodriguez’s retirement ceremony, also said that Gonzalez is almost completely recovered from offseason surgery on his left knee and is throwing bullpen sessions for potential suitors. Gonzalez auditioned for the Reds about a month ago, though it’s not clear if they still have interest. The Red Sox were also dabbling and given that their bullpen has a major-league worst 8.44 ERA, they can’t dismissed as option.

Gonzalez, 33, posted a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings between the Orioles and Rangers last year while holding left-handed batters to a .214/.264/.311 batting line and a .574 OPS. He turned down a non-guaranteed minor-league contract from the Rangers in the early part of spring training.

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.