Do Rule 5 draft picks have an incentive to use PEDs?


Rule 5 pick Daniel Stumpf got suspended for PEDs this morning. He joins two other recent Rule 5 picks — David Rollins and Andrew McKirahan — in getting suspended for PEDs as well.

Coincidence? J.J. Cooper of Baseball America doesn’t think so. He thinks that the Rule 5 draft and its attendant rules actually incentivize players to cheat. And he’s right about that. As he argues, Rule 5 guys are fringy players at best, so taking PEDs (a) makes them more likely to make a good impression and stick in the bigs; and (b) even if they’re caught, the half season in the bigs pays them WAY more than they’d make in the minors. Moreover, the fact that the player is suspended makes it less likely the club will send them back to the team who left them unprotected in the draft, meaning that a PED suspension actually benefits the club as well. Cooper provides some concrete examples of this, particularly as it related to McKirahan and how it could affect Stumpf.

Interesting things to think about. The existence of certain incentives aren’t always predictable but once they become apparent they are almost always irresistible.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”