San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, in the midst of a breakout season, has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Cabrera was found to have unusually high levels of testosterone in his system. The suspension is effective immediately and will cost Cabrera the remainder of the 2012 season.
Cabrera, who will not appeal the suspension, issued a statement through the MLBPA:
My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization, and to the fans for letting them down.
The Giants had acquired Cabrera this past offseason from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for left-handers Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. Through 113 games this year, Cabrera was hitting a career high .346/.390/.516 with 11 HR and 60 RBI in 501 plate appearances. The first time All Star was leading the National League in runs scored and hits entering today’s games.
Cabrera, who turned 28 just a few days ago, was set to become a free agent this winter and was expected to be one of the most sought after outfielders on the open market. He and the Giants had recently agreed to table extension talks until after the season, but the news of this suspension will likely end up costing him millions of dollars.
The Giants, who have 46 games remaining on their 2012 schedule, issued a statement of their own shortly after the suspension was announced (as passed along by Around the Foghorn):
We were extremely disappointed to learn of the suspension of Melky Cabrera for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outlined by Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Giants will not comment further on this matter.
For the Giants, this is ultimately a huge blow for a team still in the hunt for a playoff berth. The Giants currently sit tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead and will face Stephen Strasburg and the NL-best Washington Nationals tonight.