Michael Pineda
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Michael Pineda to serve 60-game suspension


Twins right-hander Michael Pineda received a 60-game suspension without pay on Saturday, according to an official announcement from the Office of the Commissioner. Pineda tested positive for a diuretic (and blood pressure medication) called hydrochlorothiazide, which is on MLB’s list of banned substances and known masking agents for PEDs. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, an arbitrator invoked the ‘mitigation provision of the drug program’ after determining that the substance had not been used as a masking agent for a performance-enhancing drug, so Pineda will only serve a 60-game suspension instead of the standard 80-game penalty applied to first offenses. Even with the reduction, however, he’s expected to miss the remainder of the regular season and will not be eligible for postseason play.

Both Pineda and the Twins organization released statements following MLB’s decision. From Pineda:

I’d like to begin with my sincere apologies to the Twins organization, the fans, my teammates, and my family for my error in judgement.

I mistakenly took a medication that was given to me by a close acquaintance, who obtained it over-the-counter and assured me it would safely help me manage my weight. I ingested a few of these pills without the consent of the Twins’ training staff. Testing revealed trace elements of a substance called Hydrochlorothiazide, which is a banned diuretic under baseball’s testing program.

This was shocking for me to hear. I never intended to cheat the system, other players, or opposing teams. While I am pleased that the arbitrator found there was clear and convincing evidence to reduce my discipline, I realize that I am ultimately responsible for what goes in my body and therefore respect the 60-game suspension that remains. I hope that I can be an example to others about how important it is to check with experts before taking any substance from an outside source.

The Twins, meanwhile, expressed their disappointment over the suspension and declined to comment further on the situation, per the protocol put in place by MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

This is the first such suspension of Pineda’s major-league career to date. On the cusp of free agency in 2020, the 30-year-old hurler will finish his first campaign in Minnesota with an 11-5 record through 26 starts and a 4.01 ERA, 1.7 BB/9, 8.6 SO/9, and 2.7 fWAR through 146 innings.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.