Major League Baseball on Monday suspended Alex Rodriguez for the rest of this season and all of 2014, and 12 other players are banished for the remainder of 2013 for their alleged involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. One of those players is a name not previously linked to the Florida clinic — the Mets Jordany Valdespin.
A-Rod has vowed to appeal, and since the suspension (which technically starts on Thursday) is under the Joint Drug Agreement rather than the “best interests of baseball” clause, Rodriguez is eligible to play until the appeal is heard. He is scheduled to make his return from the disabled list Monday night in Chicago. That should be fun.
Other than Alex Rodriguez (and Ryan Braun, who has already accepted his punishment), the most notable players suspended are Nelson Cruz of the Rangers and Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta. In addition to Valdespin, Mets farmhand Cesar Puello is among the suspended players, as is former Mets prospect Fernando Martinez.
The other players are Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, current Mariner and former Yankees catcher Jesus Montero, San Diego’s Everth Cabrera, Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies and minor leaguers Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos and Sergio Escalona.
With the exception of Rodriguez, all of the players have accepted their 50-game suspensions.
The inclusion of Valdespin is a stunner because his name has never cropped up in media reports. It will not effect the Mets much — he was sent to the minors last month, and his continued antics likely spelled the end of his Mets career, anyway. This is just the final nail in his coffin.
Alex Rodriguez is obviously the biggest catch here. If he loses his appeal, it could mean the end of his career, since he would be inactive for most of two seasons. Even if he does come back, Rodriguez, who was once poised to be one of the greatest players in baseball history, will forever be viewed as a player built by PEDs.