Junk swap! Rockies trade Jeremy Guthrie to Royals for Jonathan Sanchez

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Imagine two families holding garage sales across the street from one another. Sunday afternoon rolls around and all the good stuff is long gone, most of the decent stuff is sold too, and only a few beat up, worn out, and largely undesirable items remain.

Someone from the first family yells across the street to the second family and says, “Hey, I’ll give you all my leftover junk for all your leftover junk.”

After thinking about it, someone from the second family replies: “OK, whatever. We were just going to throw it all out anyway, I guess.”

In related news, Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Rockies have traded Jeremy Guthrie and his 6.35 ERA to the Royals for Jonathan Sanchez and his 7.76 ERA.

For weeks now the Rockies have made no secret about wanting to rid themselves of Guthrie, believing he’s particularly ill-suited for Coors Field. And last week the Royals mercifully designated Sanchez for assignment after he was the worst pitcher in baseball for a dozen starts, likely only sticking with him for that long because they traded Melky Cabrera to get him this offseason.

Guthrie was a solid, durable mid-rotation starter for the Orioles as recently as last season, so it makes plenty of sense that the Royals be willing to take on his $8.2 million contract in exchange for Sanchez’s $5.6 million deal. Sanchez hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2010 and words can’t do justice to how awful he’s been this season, but from the Rockies’ point of view at least he’s the junk from across the street and once upon a time had some upside.

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.