LOS ANGELES, August 5, 2013 — Major League Baseball moved today to suspend Alex Rodriguez for the remainder of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season. MLB also suspended Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Jordany Valdespin, Everth Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, and Antonio Bastardo for 50 games each for their connection to Biogenesis.
MLB has also suspended minor leaguers Cesar Pruello, Fernando Martinez, Sergio Escalona, Jordan Norberto and Fautino de los Santos for 50 games each.
Alex Rodriguez is expected to appeal the suspension and is scheduled to be in the Yankees’ lineup today for the first time this year. The Yankee third baseman has been out all year with after having surgery on his hip in the offseason.
All of the players suspended, other than Rodriguez, have said they will take their punishment without an appeal, starting immediately.
In January, the players’ names appeared on documents that were leaked to the New Miami Times from the now closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Miami.
The operator of the clinic, Tony Bosch, recently met with officials from Major League Baseball and provided them with testimony and evidence regarding MLB players.
Alex Rodriguez stands to lose over $8 million in salary for 2013 and $25 million for the 2014 season. He is eligible to return in 2015 and can still collect on the remaining three years and $61 million that will be left on his contract.
Alex Rodriguez admitted in 2009 to using steroids after signing a then record $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. He has said that he only used steroids from 2001 through 2003. Rodriguez, or El Cacique as he is nicknamed on the list, claims to have been clean since 2003.
Yuri Sucart, cousin/friend of Alex Rodriguez, is also on the Biogenesis list. Rodriguez said in 2009 that Sucart was the person who brought him the drugs from 2001 to 2003. He signed another deal with the New York Yankees that extended his contract to a record $275 million through 2018.
These suspensions come two weeks after Ryan Braun accepted his punishment for his connection to Biogenesis. Braun received a suspension without pay for the remainder of the 2013 season. He is free to rejoin the team for the start of the 2014 season and collect on the remaining eight years and over $130 million left on his contract, including a five year extension that goes into effect in 2016.
The Detroit Tigers prepared for the possibility of Peralta’s suspension by trading for shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston before the July 31 trade deadline.
The Texas Rangers will need to fill a large void in right field now that Nelson Cruz will miss the remainder of the season.
Peralta and Nelson, both all-stars in 2013, will be eligible to be reinstated in time for the playoffs should their respective teams make the postseason.
The San Francisco Giants had a similar situation last year when Melky Cabrera was suspended for the remainder of the season. Instead of accepting Cabrera back with open arms for the playoffs, the Giants took a Giant step to distance the organization from Cabrera by telling him he was not welcome to return. The Giants did not attempt to re-sign Cabrera, unfortunately Toronto gave him $16 million for two years. More teams should follow San Francisco’s lead.