Major League Baseball released the names this afternoon and noted that the investigation “found no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia.”
The names of the violators began to surface today, and some fans remained suspicious of Valencia after he was listed on records obtained by Yahoo Sports over the winter from the now-defunct clinic. Valencia’s name was crossed out, no PEDs were mentioned, and he denied having any involvement with owner Tony Bosch - both in a statement and again during an interview in spring training.
“Basically, I’ve never had any contact with those people,” Valencia said back in February following the Orioles’ first full-squad workout. “I’ve never met Tony Bosch, never seen him, never been to that clinic, never heard of that clinic until the New Times story first broke. That being said, I’ve never ever taken a PED in my life, never failed a drug test in my life and I never will.
“When I first got the phone call, I knew I was going to be in the clear. I knew I’m not going to get in trouble because there’s nothing they are going to find on me. I’ve never done anything.”
Valencia, purchased from the Boston Red Sox on November 28, also expressed concerns over how the organization would perceive him.
“I thought about what Dan Duquette is going to think, obviously what Buck (Showalter) is going to think, my teammates. That’s what matters. That was my first feeling. I felt upset about that.”
The last few times that I checked with a team official about the possibility of an Oriole being suspended, I was told, “We’re in the clear.” There didn’t seem to be any doubts or concerns inside the warehouse, the manager’s office or the clubhouse.
Players receiving 50-game suspensions without pay for their violations of the Program are:
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo
San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera
New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli
Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz
Padres pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A San Antonio Missions of the Texas League
Houston Astros pitcher Sergio Escalona, who is currently of the roster of the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League
Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the International League
Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League
Free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta
New York Mets outfielder Cesar Puello, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League
Mets infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League
Also, commissioner Bud Selig just announced that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been “suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 Championship Season and Postseason and the entire 2014 Championship Season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.”
While Valencia is in the clear today, he’s also expected to be in Triple-A Norfolk as the corresponding roster move when second baseman Brian Roberts comes off paternity leave. Roberts’ three days are up today and he’s accompanying the team to San Diego.
Minor league note: Catcher Steve Clevenger, obtained from the Cubs with pitcher Scott Feldman, has been activated from the disabled list and added to Triple-A Norfolk’s roster. Clevenger had been on the DL with a strained oblique.