Patton suspended 25 games for drug violation (updated)

The Orioles' offseason took another nasty turn this afternoon.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that orioles left-hander Troy Patton has received a 25-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Patton will be effective at the start of the 2014 regular season.

Patton couldn't be reached for comment. Executive vice president Dan Duquette will issue a brief statement later today.

Patton, who was tendered a contract at the Dec. 2 deadline, was 2-0 with a 3.70 ERA in 56 relief appearances this season.

The Orioles acquired Patton, Matt Albers, Mike Costanzo, Dennis Sarfate and Luke Scott from the Astros on Dec. 12, 2007 for shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Patton's spot on the roster on opening day could be taken by another left-hander on the 40-man roster, a list that includes T.J. McFarland, Chris Jones, Mike Belfiore, Kelvin De La Cruz and Zach Britton.

In January 2011, Patton was arrested and charged with a DWI in Houston after police pulled him over for speeding and driving over a curb. According to police, Patton failed a breathalyzer test by registering a 0.14 blood-alcohol level, which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 in Texas. He was released on $500 bond.

Update: MLB issues 25-game suspensions for a second positive test for amphetamines.

Duquette's statement is expected to be rather generic, since clubs aren't allowed to comment on suspensions. Most likely, he will offer support of the Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

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