Yesterday it was reported that the St. Louis Cardinals had come to term with free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta. The most common reaction was one that I honestly expected.
Ah, Jhonny Peralta. He served a 50-game suspension for connection with the whole Biogenesis fiasco.
Following the announcement, the first opinion that caught my eye was this…
— Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler) November 24, 2013
Now as is expected in the Twitterverse, Ziegler was taken to task regarding his tweet. I saw responses ranging from Ziegler being stupid for putting this out on Twitter (and I don’t understand why he’s stupid for that) to those supporting Ziegler for taking such a stance on PEDs.
Ziegler also tweeted that the players had originally thought a 50-game ban for a first positive would serve as a deterrent. For those that are unaware, Brad Ziegler also serves as the Diamondbacks player representative to the MLBPA.
Obviously, missing 50 games hasn’t served as a deterrent.
Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Marlon Byrd are only a trio of players that were recently caught in MLB’s net. Cabrera and Byrd both got two-year, $16MM deals. Cabrera’s deal came prior to this past season and Byrd’s only recently. Colon got a one-year deal to return to the A’s for 2013 and he’s a free agent again. All got paid, but not to the extent that Peralta did.
And that may have rocked the boat a little too much. The Peralta signing might be the one that serves as the eye-opener according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal writes that “(s)ome players would like to see a one- or even two-year suspension for a first offense and a lifetime suspension for a second”.
He also adds the following…
Other ideas also are in play, including a two-tiered penalty system that distinguishes between players who intentionally cheat and players who do not. The burden of proof in such a program would be on the player, who would need to demonstrate that his misstep was inadvertent.
Financial disincentives also could be instituted for PED users and the teams that employ them. A player could have his free agency delayed for a year. A team might be required to make a significant additional payment – perhaps through a donation to PED education – if it signs a past, confirmed user.
While fans would all love to see harsher penalties, those days aren’t in the distant future unless the MLBPA and the owners decide to tackle this issue prior to the current CBA’s expiration.
But let’s point something out here. As disgusted as some may be with this signing (and I read more toward this side of the fence), neither Peralta nor the Cardinals are doing anything wrong here. There are merely conducting business. You may not like that business, but it is well within the rules.
And what does this now hold for Nelson Cruz? He also served 50 games in light of the Biogenesis scandal. Think he’ll ink a deal on the level of what Peralta did?
Tags: Jhonny Peralta