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jonathan gray oklahomaMLB teams were informed a few days ago that Jonathan Gray, a junior pitcher at Oklahoma, tested positive for the banned stimulant Adderall during his pre-Draft drug screening, according to multiple reports. Sources tell Keith Law that Gray did not have a prescription for the drug, which would have excused the positive test. Gray is considered a consensus top five pick on talent, and is/was under heavy consideration by the Cubs for their number two overall pick.

There is no suspension associated with a draft-eligible player failing a drug screening, though it does subject Gray to increased testing once he becomes a professional. Big leaguers are suspended 25 games for testing positive for a banned stimulant a second time (there is no suspension for a first positive test).

So, yeah. I know what you’re wondering. What’s the fallout here?

As with all complicated and nuanced issues, the right answer is “it depends.”

Does Gray have a known condition that warrants the use of Adderall, and the lack of a prescription is a misunderstanding/procedural goof/etc.? If so, this is no big deal. If not, then it might be a slight issue – Gray reportedly lost a good deal of weight and got into great condition before the 2013 season, where his performance has spiked – but I doubt it drives Gray too far down the boards. The issue is less the “drug” – many players use is under an exemption (prescription) – and more the “judgment.”

Indeed, Law indicates something you may have already suspected: with a positive drug test on his records (albeit one that doesn’t scare teams), Gray’s bonus demands may have to drop slightly. That could make Gray a more attractive draft pick, not a less attractive one, as the selecting team might get a top five talent at a price tag below that level, which allows them to spend more elsewhere in the Draft.

Ultimately, it introduces a new level of uncertainty into the equation as the Cubs make one of their most important draft picks in years. They’ve met with Gray, and they’ve known about this issue for several days now. They’ll have a plan, and they’ll have a good sense of how this issue affects their position on Gray come Thursday.

I suppose the best context we can give this is to imagine that the Cubs selected Gray, and then found out about the positive test. How are we feeling then? I’m probably a little disappointed and a little nervous. And I’d probably research the effects of Adderall on athlete performance like a mad beast. I’d also wonder, if this is no big deal and just a thing that happens, why Gray was the only player who tested positive (again, reportedly).

Does that added anxiety mean the Cubs should now pass on Gray? They’ve got at least two quality options at the top of the Draft already – Mark Appel and Kris Bryant – so it is not as if passing on Gray means their top pick will be a disaster.

Still, if they think the test is no big deal, and believe Gray is the best talent on the board when they pick, maybe this is a non-issue.

  • Abe Froman

    Anyway for the front office to gain access to his drug test history? If he was clean several times this year I am not concerned about it, which has been pointed out that it could save the Cubs some money if the Astros sign Appel. It was a poor choice, and he will likely pay a bit for it, but with continued success a couple million will be nothing once his next deal rolls around.

  • Die hard

    Theo will take him and use leverage of test to force better deal for Cubs

  • Rebuilding

    It seems that Blair, who some have mentioned for us at 41, also tested positive

    • Rebuilding

      That’s according to Baseball America

  • J Wilson

    Adderall (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine) is a DEA Class II substance. If you don’t have a script for it, you don’t have ADD/ADHD or any variant thereof. Other indications are patients w/ Narcolepsy, which Gray doesn’t have.

    I can’t imagine a scenario in which he was taking Adderall legitimately without a script. Furthermore, it only takes 12-24hrs for Adderall to clear your system via the kidneys, so he must have had no warning.

    Is it a big deal? No, hundreds of thousands of kids without indications take it.

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s a big deal if your performance requires it

      • Rich H

        Or you used it to get your weight down and never put it down.

        • Jason

          How does this drug help lose weight? This drug is used to help you stay alert.

          • JoyceDaddy

            Significantly decreased appetite while using adderall.

          • MichiganGoat

            It’s basically a controlled speed, it ups your metabolism, lowers your appetite, and gives you energy. Trust me you will lose weight on it.

            • BoyzofZimmer

              Adderall is amphetamine which allows you hyper-focus. It heightens your senses, your precision, your mental clarity, etc. Everything a pitcher/player wants… It can def. put you in a zone. IF this was a part of his game, he’d better get diagnosed w ADD quick and prescribed some pills before the draft, or else he could be a bust… a great athlete… Just without the edge, and as a #2 pick, a potential bust. That is a big IF, who knows?could’ve just been tired that day… Which would make him very unlucky, something the cubs dont need more of, giving the FO another reason to consider passing him up.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              11% reported weight loss in medical trials. I’m not sure that’s a completely sure thing.

      • Alex

        Before we jump to that conclusion, consider that thousands of students take it in hopes of studying and completing mass quantities of material and homework. He’s still a junior in school, it’s not hard to imagine a 21 year old kid taking it for finals week, he’s only held in a different regard because he’s a major league prospect. We can’t say it’s a problem till we know, besides this story is still “reportedly.”

    • Blank

      1. Addy stays in your hair for three months

      2. It makes you sweat a lot more, so you can shed weight (especially if you work out like, I don’t know, a college pitcher)

      3. There are also reports of withdrawal after quitting it. So…Gray might be screwed.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    It is also a risk-adverse v. risk-seeking situation. Some here would be risk adverse to any positive test for adderal, and taking a player. Whereas, 29 other GMs may say, it is not as big a concern. Of course, once Gray falls, the marketplace will tell him how much he cost himself for not obtaining the script – or avoiding the wiz quiz failure.

    Time to see how much a failure reported (only days before the draft) is actually worth.

    • Kyle

      The really weird situation is that I’m not sure if it will hurt his draft status or not, and I also don’t know if by hurting it (and thus giving him less leverage to demand a big bonus), it might actually help it.

      • MichiganGoat

        agreed it will all come down to the reasons why he failed the test (if he even did) if turns out that everyone agrees he used to benefit his performance and this year is not representative of what pitcher he will become then he will fall and possibly fall deep, but if baseball thinks he just made one bad decision then not much will change. How this plays out tomorrow should be interesting.

        • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

          Yeah, but of the top three, Gray is the larger unknown. I doubt he goes top 2.

  • JoyceDaddy

    This is nothing. He’s in college and like anyone else has finals; most students in college these days take adderall to pass their finals. He wasn’t using an ADHD drug to lose weight or gain an edge on the mound, he was just simply trying to pass his classes.

    • MichiganGoat

      If he did it to take a final he’s just stupid since he knew this was coming.

      • Rebuilding

        Second hand information alert, but supposedly Oklahoma’s finals were 3 weeks ago

        • MichiganGoat

          He could have taken Finals much latter because of the playoffs and gotten an extension, but still a stupid move when you know you are going to get tested.

          • hansman1982

            From what I have read, it appears Adderal is out of the urine in the matter of less than a week…

            It appears to be mostly performance enhancing which seems to be supported by his sudden rise from good draftee to top of the draft.

            The main thing that scares me is he didn’t have the foresight to stop using before he had to take the drug test and how much of his ace ceiling and stunning season comes from it?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              He was a mid-first rounder before the season started. He rose, but he didn’t come out of nowhere.

              He started the season as arguably the fourth best college pitcher (behind Appel, Manea, and Stanek). But then, Manea was only that high because he suddenly rose during the Cape Cod League.

              • hansman1982

                There may have been some hyperbole there, I guess I just much prefer Appel, even if he doesn’t have the same ceiling, because he has been a top pick for a couple years now…

    • JB88

      As a former college athlete with ADD I can tell you with zero qualms that ADD medication used by a person without ADD is absolutely a performance enhancing drug. It helps you concentrate to almost obscene levels. In the hands of someone without ADD, you would have heightened levels of attention, processing speed, and the world would seem slower to you. If you don’t think this is a performance enhancing drug you are making excuses and kidding yourself.

      • caryatid62

        The minute you move from drugs that affect muscles to ones that affect mental processes, there’s no such thing as a non-performance enhancing drug.

    • JB88

      I don’t buy the finals claim. This kid is days away from being a millionaire and came from the community college ranks. This kid doesn’t strike me as the kid taking adderal for finals …

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Why not? If he’s a competitor, then he doesn’t like doing poorly on tests. If you want to do well on tests, then “Hey Kids, shake it lose together, the spotlights showing something that’s been known to change the weather…”

        • Danny Ballgame

          Were gonna kill the fatted calf tonight, so stick around

          • MichiganGoat

            Thanks for leaving us goats out of it

  • Die hard

    Astros to take Appel and then trade him to Dodgers for 3 regulars?

    • MichiganGoat

      You can’t trade a draft pick for one year so…. yeah keep them coming.

    • Kevin B

      even if he was allowed to be traded (he cannot for a year) why would the Dodger or anyone trade 3 regulars for Mark Appel? He is not Cy Young coming out of College, just a good solid Pitcher. Doubtful he even winds up the best Pitcher in the Draft – yet some team would trade 3 guys for him? hahahaha

  • Rebuilding

    Dominic Brown is on absolute fire. HR #17 tonight. I think that’s 9 in 10 games. I wonder how close the rumored Soriano/Brown deal reall was

    • Die hard

      Lit a fire under Brown who didn’t want trade

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I try not to think about it.

  • Die hard

    The draft will be challenged as violating free trade

    • MichiganGoat

      Please elaborate

      • Jp3

        Yes please elaborate on that… Don’t think, just type, it’s a slow night around here

      • Die hard

        Anti-trust exemption illegal because allows MLB and players union to bargain away rights of amateurs who are not parties to the agreement

        • jj

          Just in case anyone reads die hard and thinks he’s right, he’s not. He’s wrong, and remarkably so. This view would invalidate every union-employer contract because all such agreements bind future employees.

  • Die hard

    I’d be more concerned if Gray had a fake girlfriend like that ND LB

  • another JP

    For those believing that this test won’t affect whether the Cubs draft Gray and it isn’t a big deal, put yourself in the shoes of Theo or Jed when they’d have to justify to Ricketts and the fan base that they dumped a #2 pick and $6M on a guy that tested positive for a PED- because that’s what uppers are- and this is no different. With all the resources that have been exhausted on scouting this player, any kind of risk is a red flag, and this is as much a character issue as anything. For a team that put Albert Almora’s make-up on display as a reason to take him #6 last year, there’s no way in hell we draft Gray #2. It would go against everything this FO has supported and would condone a culture of gaining an advantage through the use of drugs. McLeod may have also known about the Gray story when this was reported earlier today-

    “On the subject of the top pick, however, McLeod emphasized that the Cubs are looking for impact talent, regardless of position.”

    That tells me they’re leaving the door open to taking a guy like Bryant, which I believe will happen if the Astros go with Appel @ 1.1

    • Dustin S

      I agree with you. The more I thought about it tonight, the negative reflection on the Cubs brand, plus the message it would send through the whole organization would be more than they’ll be willing to take on. They would about have to throw out The Cubs Way book.

      Even though it was “just” Adderall, the problem is the PED offense in general in this case and the spotlight on the pick and not as much how common or serious the drug is. It’s also not like Gray is a Strasburg where he is head and shoulders above everyone else and there is a lot of pressure to overlook it. He’s a guy who was previously good-but-not-great who had an amazing year and shot up the ranks. He’s almost the equivalent of a free agent coming off an unusually huge year. So to me it’s not so much a problem for the Cubs. Actually it should make the decision pretty cut and dry now; Appel or Bryant, whichever of the 2 Houston doesn’t take. It’s really more of a problem for the Rockies or Twins who will probably have to choose now between rolling the dice on Gray or picking someone else.

      • Jim L

        Especially with this happening on the 10th anniversary of Sammy and the corked bat.

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      I agree, the Cubs will take Appel if he is available and if not will take Bryant.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    I had an Adderall script for a few years. It was originally made as a weight loss drug and then later was prescribed for ADHD and some other problems.

    The day I started taking adderall i was 220 pounds. A month or two later i was 180 pounds. Then a few months after i stopped taking it i came back up to 210 pounds…where i am today.

    So… if he took it once or twice for exams he is not very smart. He had to know he was going to get tested before the draft. Or he is just dumb if he was scheduled for a test and still took it.

    But, if his loss of weight was due to taking adderall over a longer term period of time, then i could see how he lost weight coming into the season.

    How much of an issue is it if he needs to keep weight down without a stimulant? He will be working out a lot with his new organization. But i would say it is still a question mark.

  • Kramden

    Off topic, but a truly impressive game by Maples tonight.

    • Matty Ice

      The walks will always be a concern with him, but no one can deny his stuff.

      Also, I keep wondering if Kyle Hendricks doesn’t get a start or two in September.

    • Die hard

      No– it’s on point as shows need for pitching outweighed by supply

    • jt

      off topic, off topic
      what is with Christian Villanueva 3B at Tenn. In June he is improving upon his May 0.857 OPS and is starting to show power?

  • dan

    Best thing that could of happened now take Bryant

  • Die hard

    No– go for top catcher

  • BAMF

    Not sure if it’s the same in Oklahoma, but people at my school used to call it diet coke because they’d crush up a pill and stay up all night drinking. The kid probably was out partying/celebrating with friends, someone offered him a line, end of story. My guess is it was just a dumb mistake that he wishes he could do over. Studying for the finals is also very plausible…seriously doubt he’s taking it as a PED unless it was for his finals. This guy has an amazing amount of talent and higher upside than the rest of the draft (to be fair, probably a lower floor than Appel or Bryant), but Theo and company would be dumb to pass this guy up over this if they were planning on taking him before this incident. I wouldn’t read to much into this until a pattern of abuse can be established.

  • cms0101

    Does anyone know anything about IF Edinson Rincon, a 22 year old from the Padres system? He was just released after not playing all season due to injury. Last season in AA he had decent numbers and showed a little pop. It looks like he played 3rd mostly, but also spent some time in LF. I wonder if Jed will take a flyer on one of his old players.

    • Tobias

      It depends on how healthy he is currently. From what I’ve read, he was hurt in spring training. Hoyer might take a flyer on him considering that he can be signed to a minor league deal.

  • Cheryl

    They may have no choice but to pass on him. A question of why he took the drug and when will probably cost him the number 2 pick. If the Astros take Moran then the choice for the cubs will be Bryant or Appel. The Astros may still take Appel and if that’s the case the Cubs can’t take a chance on Gray. They’ll most likely take Bryant. Gray didn’t use his head on this. Not only do you want a good pitcher if you draft one, you want a smart pitcher.

    • Jeremy

      Who the heck cares? It’s adderall. It’s not like he was doing black tar heroin. This literally should not affect his draft status at all.

      • cubsin

        If he took it once for finals, that’s one thing. But if he took it all year and he can’t get approval from MLB to keep taking it, then he probably wouldn’t be as effective without his PED’s, and wouldn’t be worthy of the #2 pick.

        • DCF

          From my cynical POV I guess it’s not a big deal. The positve test just shows that he’s still younf and inexperienced, otherwise he wouldn’t have been caught.
          The unmonitored/unprescribed/unwarranted use of psychoactive drugs is rampant in the US and I doubt it’s any different in MLB.

  • Michael

    Maybe he falls to far for his liking and since he is only a junior he returns to school and in that case the cubs could get him next year in the draft!

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      I don’t think so. I think he falls a little lower in the draft and someone has a chance to get a real potential bargain.

  • Die hard

    Gray to sue for releasing test results? Privacy may have been violated

  • Jp3

    Yeah, he’s lucky his privacy will just be violated. He’s still pass GO and collect $2,000,000. He doesn’t have to worry about a failed drug test to get a new job.

  • RoughRiider

    The fact that he allegedly took the drug just before a drug test pretty much shows he’s not paying attention. Should’n t the Cubs be trying to get Castro tested fo ADHD ?

    • Die hard

      That catcher looking better and better

      • Jp3

        You need to ease up on the brewskis then… Don’t want to wake up pregnant.😝

  • Die hard

    He’s not under MLB auth yet- no right to release results

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  • Rich

    we are not taking a catcher

  • Pingback: Cubs Draft Notes: Maybe Houston Will Take Appel After All | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

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