NEW YORK — Turns out Hector Santiago was using more than sticky stuff.
The Seattle Mariners pitcher was suspended for 80 games Thursday by Major League Baseball following a positive test for external testosterone, exactly one month after he was banned for 10 games when he became the first player penalized under the sport’s crackdown on grip-enhancing substances.
While the sticky substance penalty was with pay, the suspension under MLB’s drug program will cost him about half his $700,000 major league salary.
“In 2020, while I was not on the roster of a MLB club, I consulted a licensed physician in Puerto Rico who diagnosed me with a condition and recommended hormonal replacement therapy,” Santiago said in a statement issued through the Major League Baseball Players Association.
“Because I did not play in 2020, I did not consider that this therapy could ultimately lead to a positive test under MLB’s joint drug program. That said, I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and I was not careful. Therefore, I have decided for forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension. I apologize for any harm this has caused the Seattle Mariners, Mariners’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.”
A 33-year-old left-hander, Santiago is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season. He is a 10-year big league veteran, going 48-51 with a 4.12 ERA and six saves for the Chicago White Sox (2011-13, 2018-19), Los Angeles Angeles (2014-16), Minnesota Twins (2016-17), New York Mets (2019) and the Mariners.