While much of the baseball world was baselessly speculating about Jake Arrieta and performance-enhancing drugs, another star was in the process of actually being suspended for it.
Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games, MLB announced, after testing positive for two banned substances, exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol.
Gordon, 28, recently signed a $50 million extension with the Marlins after breaking out upon his arrival in Miami. Gordon was emerging as a solid player with the Dodgers before he was dealt to the Marlins before the 2015 season, when he really exploded, hitting .333/.359/.418, posting a 4.6 WAR, and winning the NL batting title.
It’s hard to call any PED suspension shocking these days, but this would certainly be right up there. Not only is Gordon not the type of player you think of when you think steroids, but he’s also become a popular star, not only in Miami, but across baseball. He’s a fun player. So this is quite a bummer for the Marlins and for baseball as a whole.
And it’s yet another reminder that this can happen to any team at any time.
The implications here are mostly limited to the NL East race, though the Marlins were unlikely to contend as it is, given the strength of the Mets and Nationals ahead of them. Instead, those two teams now have a slightly easier path to picking up a few extra wins, and possibly locking down two playoff spots out of that division.
It was already going to be a tougher road for the NL West and NL Central teams in the Wild Card race, given that each features at least three very competitive teams (which will beat up on each other because of the unbalanced schedules), and it just got a touch tougher, since the non-NL-East winner among the Mets and Nats could have some more wins coming.