Report: Indians, Orioles discussing Mychal Givens

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
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The Indians appear to be interested in Orioles right-handed reliever Mychal Givens, per a recent report from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Givens is far from the only player the club is interested in acquiring prior to the trade deadline, but as they’re currently eying affordable, multi-inning relievers, he definitely seems to fit the bill.

The 28-year-old right-hander is slated to remain under team control through the 2021 season and has put up some impressive totals over the last three seasons.  This year, however, he appears to be in a rut — entering Saturday’s contest, Givens is sporting a career-worst 4.40 ERA, 2.9 BB/0 and 10.1 SO/0 through his first 47 innings. That may not be as off-putting to the Indians as it would to another team: Their bullpen currently ranks second to last in the league with a cumulative 5.39 ERA and -1.9 fWAR, bested (or worsted) only by the Royals.

As with nearly every other team these days, the Indians are also in on shortstop Manny Machado, and reportedly have feelers out for outfielder Adam Jones, too. With the trade deadline weeks away, nothing appears to be imminent on any of these fronts so far. Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports adds that a deal for Givens might be more difficult than initially expected; while the reliever isn’t expected to be completely off the table in trade talks, his durability and consistency over the last four years (not to mention his team-friendly contract) makes him a valuable asset that the Orioles will find difficult to part with.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

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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.