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Taylor Teagarden, named in the Al Jazeera report, suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball

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Major League Baseball just announced that free agent catcher Taylor Teagarden has received an 80-game suspension without pay as a result of his violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

This may not have been a big thing in a vacuum. Teagarden has played in only 17 major league games in the past two years, is a 32-year-old free agent and in all likelihood would not have appeared in a big league game again. But the circumstances which have led to this bit of news does make it notable. Those circumstances: he was named in the Al Jazeera report which also named Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Peyton Manning and other athletes last December. Howard and Zimmerman have sued over the report and have denied all wrongdoing.

To be clear, Teagarden was shown in an undercover video in the report talking openly about his PED usage and such was not the case for Howard, Zimmerman, Manning or other athletes named in the report. As such, this might just be a case of some low-hanging fruit being snagged by MLB. It is worth watching, however, to see if anything else comes of the Al Jazeera report.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.