Nationals trade Gomes, Harrison to A’s amid big overhaul

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Washington Nationals kept wheeling and dealing, trading catcher Yan Gomes and utilityman Josh Harrison to the Oakland Athletics for three minor leaguers on Friday.

Washington has dismantled its roster in a matter of 24 crazy hours. Ace pitcher Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner were traded to the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers for four prospects Friday.

Relief pitcher Daniel Hudson was sent to the San Diego Padres late Thursday in a busy day of moves for retooling Washington, which acquired right-hander Mason Thompson and shortstop Jordy Barley in that move.

A little earlier, the Nationals traded All-Star slugger Kyle Schwarber to Boston for a minor league pitcher. Before that, they shipped closer Brad Hand to Toronto.

The defending AL West champion A’s are in second place behind rival Houston. On Monday, Oakland acquired left-hander Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers, then traded for outfielder Starling Marte on Wednesday in a swap with the Marlins.

Gomes has had a resurgent year as the Nationals’ starting catcher, batting .271 with nine homers and 35 RBIs in 63 games. Harrison batted .294 with six homers and 38 RBIs in 90 games.

Oakland dealt catcher Drew Millas and right-handers Richard Guasch and Seth Shuman to Washington. The Nationals sent cash to Oakland to complete the deal.

The 23-year-old Guasch went 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 13 appearances for High-A Lansing this season. Shuman, also 23, went 2-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 13 appearances for Lansing. The switch-hitting Millas batted .255 in 59 games for Lansing.

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.