musclesMLB and the MLBPA today announced that they’ve altered the Joint Drug Agreement in a handful of pretty significant ways. The gist:

  • First time positive tests are now met with an 80-game suspension. A second positive test gets you a full-season suspension (and no pay for that year). A third positive test gets you banned from MLB.
  • If you’re suspended in a given season for PEDs, you’re ineligible for the postseason (even if you’ve already returned to your team).
  • Players may argue before the arbitration panel that, with respect to certain banned substances, they didn’t take the substance to receive a performance-enhancing effect. If they’re successful, their suspension will be reduced. (I imagine we’ll see this come up frequently.)
  • The volume of in-season random testing is doubling.
  • Karl Groucho

    I like the stronger disincentives, but “no pay for that year” really sits wrong with me.

    • Edwin

      The thing I don’t like is that it gives a team an incentive to encourage certain players on their team to use PED’s. If the player ges caught, the team saves money, and if the player doesn’t get caught, then the team benefits from the potentially increased production.

      • Karl Groucho

        Bingo. The players are certanly not good guys (Buster Olney has long banged the drum that they “steal from other players” and get unfairly high salaries), but it strikes me as quite, ah — favorable — for management.

        Given what Olney reports to be a general sentiment among players that this is stealing, negotiating probably never even touched team/management-side liability. With players already demonizing their peers, management probably just had to agree. (I imagine now the stifled smirks and fake pushback. “You want to take away salaries for a whole year!? [Suppressed giggling.] Well, that might be tough to work out, let’s talk to our lawyers…”)

        • davidalanu

          This is especially true of teams that sign known offenders. The Cardinals and Jhonny Peralta are a great example. I can’t see any reason why, should Peralta be caught using again, the Cardinals should get the benefit of cost savings. Let that money go to an old-timers pension fund or something, but let it still count towards luxury taxes, etc.

          • gocatsgo2003

            Maybe it would still count toward luxury taxes — it’s hard to get the full ramifications from a TwitPic.

    • MoneyBoy

      There’s nothing wrong with it at all, in my opinion. Players know from the lowest level of the minor leagues that there is random testing and what the penalties are. The teams aren’t suspending the players… baseball is. It’s wrong, they shouldn’t be doing it, they know it. They should not be paid.

      As a player… you don’t like it then don’t do it. Or find something else to do.

  • lnfihDeL

    The best way to stop it is to make it first time Ban. Along with forfeiting all of your stats and remaining salary.

    What the rules now are saying is that you can get caught twice before you get into actual trouble.

    • Edwin

      Seems a bit much.

      • lnfihDeL

        Look how much money these big time hitters can make if they juice and don’t get caught.

        It has to be a bit much to deter.

    • Brocktoon

      And excommunicated from whatever religion they practice. And the atheists and agnostic have to go to service every weekend under penalty of catapult.

      • DarthHater

        How about if we just go straight to catapult as the penalty for all first offenders? Simplifies things and highly entertaining.

        • Diehardthefirst

          Death penalty is too good for them only if you truly believe that only some are guilty and if you do then how about a bridge for sale ?

  • Truely Blue

    Some of you guys (and gals) are really conspiracy wing nuts. Do you really believe that an owner would want to lose his best player (even if he’s a cheater) and potentially lose a world series just to save a salary? I think not!

    • Edwin

      That’s not what I’m saying. Of course the owner wouldn’t want to lose his best player, but not having to pay salary frees up most of the risk associated with signing potential PED users.

    • lnfihDeL


      It’s not about saving salary for the owner, it’s about taking the money as punishment from the player.

    • Brocktoon

      I’m pretty damn sure the Steinbrenners were rooting against A-Rod’s appeal this offseason.

    • 1060Ivy

      What’s the owner’s incentive not to encourage players to take PEDs?

      If the player takes PEDs doesn’t get caught, his performance and most likely team performance improves. He gets caught, owner doesn’t have to pay him so he’s saves payroll.

    • Karl Groucho

      I don’t think management would WANT most players to use — esp,. not high-production players. You’re def right that say the giants would rather posey putting up 5 WAR than 7 and the chance to get busted. But at its most malicious it certainly encourages your Jhonny Peralta types to use, who otherwise may not have much value. At it’s least malicious it still allows teams to wash their hands of players from whose cheating they have gained benefit and pocket that money/put it to other use instead.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Need to also ban sesame seed bagels- wonder if Colorado Rockies get exemption?

    • Diehardthefirst

      Now you know why I decided to root for Mgr Rick and why he likes my guy Barney and why I think platooning all will be his MO

  • Spoda17

    Ricky has some belly-fire per CSN…

    “Nobody in (the clubhouse) will misconstrue my calmness and my patience for not having fire,” Renteria said. “I have plenty of fire in my belly. The only ones who need to understand it are those guys in there. I’m hoping that because they do, what you guys see will be something pretty exciting.”


  • Tommy

    I wonder if that guy in the picture ever used PED’s.

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  • soultosoul

    It’s a good start, but I doubt it will do much good. If I was a twnty-something marginl prospect and I knew my best chance to make it was to juice it up for a couple years I would do it. Health and ethical issues aside, there’s not much downside. I can greatly improve my performance and bust out, sign a huge contract, and if then caught, oh well. I’ll lose some $$, but some other team will give me another huge contract (Pheralta, Cabrera).

    If the penalties were organizational-wide then it would be different. Imagine if the Cards organization had to pay a fee (tax, penalty, whatever you want to call it) to sign Pheralta. Now imagine that penalty travelled down the line. GM, manager, coaches all have to share in that penalty. Think they’ll keep an eye on him? Maybe he’s just a stupid kid that made a mistake and deserves a second chance. Well, he’s getting it. If he doesn’t take that chance then boot him from the gme and move on.

    The Texas Rangers from a few years ago are the perfect example. It seems like a high % of players named were on that team. The Rangers benefited from extra butts in the seats and (no way to prove it) encouraged this cheating. The organization should share in the penalties. Pull $$ out of an owner’s pocket and things will change. There’s always another player available but a lighter wallet gets an owner’s attention.

    MLB and King Bud make an effort, but are still unwilling to do what is necessary to truly eliminate PED from the game. They are still, and always will be, in that, “Chicks dig the long ball mindset.” As long as someone like Cabrera can cheat and then sign a $75 million contract as a reward then he will do it.

  • blublud

    I think first ban should be 162 games, 2nd ban should be life. Team of offender should still pay salary, but to a pot that MLB will donate to charities that’s not in any way involved in politics. This would be showing legitimate progress.

  • dshea

    When will they be conducting the tests? Will they be blood or urine? Unless they conduct in-game urine tests, they can evade the post game tests. Check out the A Rod/Bosch 60 minutes special. The steroid lozenges, etc. wear off a hour or two after use.