Nolan Arenado and the Rockies are $6 million apart in arbitration

Nolan Arenado
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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Nolan Arenado and the Rockies are currently $6 million apart in arbitration figures. Arenado asked for $30 million, while the club countered with $24 million. Rosenthal adds that even if Arenado is awarded the lower number, he’ll eclipse Josh Donaldson‘s record-breaking $23 million deal with the highest single-season salary figure to be awarded in arbitration.

Arenado, 27, certainly has the skillset to back up such a big ask. The 2018 season marked his fourth consecutive All-Star campaign, and he took home a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger after batting a robust .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, 110 RBI, a .935 OPS, and career-best 5.7 fWAR through 673 PA. On defense, he finished third among all qualified major-league third baseman, outpaced only by the Athletics’ fellow Gold Glover Matt Chapman and the Mariners’ Kyle Seager.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan cites sources that say the two sides are likely to resolve matters in advance of any mandatory arbitration hearing. Of course, there’s more to consider here than Arenado’s immediate value to the Rockies. Thomas Harding of MLB.com points out that a “multi-year contract is the goal,” though Colorado could be waiting on free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to sign elsewhere so that they have a more definite valuation for their slugger. It’s also possible, of course, that Arenado will eschew a long-term deal in order to test the open market when he enters free agency in 2020.

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.