Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene reports that Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and faces a 162-game suspension. This has not yet been confirmed by Major League Baseball, but it is expected to be soon.
The suspension would be Byrd’s second for PEDs. The first came in 2012 when he tested positive for tamoxifen, which is used to deal with the side effects of steroids. Byrd served a 50-game suspension then. As of now, a second offense brings a suspension of 162 games.
Byrd signed with the Indians in March on a minor league deal and made the team out of spring training. He’s being paid $1 million and had the possibility of another $2.5 million in performance bonuses. Though he turns 39 in August, he’s been productive this year, hitting .270/.326/.452 with five homers and 19 driven in while playing the corners in the Indians’ injury-riddled outfield. Now, if this report is confirmed, it will be an even thinner squad.
As for Byrd, he didn’t have a job until late March this season, despite the fact that he was coming off of a 23-homer year in 2015, and then he could only land the minor league deal at that. It’s hard to imagine him latching on anywhere after a year-long suspension at age 39. As such this may be, for all intents and purposes, a career-ending suspension for the 15-year MLB veteran.