Quick Hits: Byrd, Royals, Youk, Padres Sale

Marlon Byrd was suspended for 50 games today after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, according to MLB's official PR department (on Twitter). Byrd issued the following statement:

“I made an inexcusable mistake. Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons. I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do. I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a Club win later this season.”

Here are some additional links for your Monday evening…

  • Royals general manager Dayton Moore told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that he has received zero calls on Jeff Francoeur, Bruce Chen, and Jonathan Broxton (Twitter link).
  • Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com tweets that the reason the Red Sox didn't get more for Kevin Youkilis is because some offers from interested parties simply stated that they would take Youkilis "for nothing," if the Sox were willing to pick up the entire contract.
  • The imminent sale of the Padres could have a positive impact on the Mariners, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The sale price is said to be $800MM — $600MM for the Padres and $200MM for a stake in their upcoming $1.2 billion TV deal with FOX. The Mariners can opt out of their current TV deal in 2015, and could be sitting on top of a "financial windfall," writes Baker. He writes that Mariners "should be able to get more in any pending sale if everything remains equal."
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that yesterday's Youkilis trade has kicked off the trade season, and runs through some big names that could be trade candidates at this year's deadline.


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50 Comments on "Quick Hits: Byrd, Royals, Youk, Padres Sale"


3 years 2 months ago

Hair plugs?  Calf implants?  The surgery is much more interesting than the suspension.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Why on earth would a doctor prescribe Tamoxifen for HPV?  It’s a viral skin condition that is treated with immunotherapy injections, acids, cryosurgery, lasers, destructive ointments.

Smells like total BS from Byrd.  Somewhere along the line it became a sort of thing for guys caught using performance enhancers and the associated hormone regulating drugs to make vague references to STDs as the reason they were using these medications.

Never mind that it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

but its not like it helped him at all. I know thats not really the point, but I just wished people (not you) stopped acting like PEDs are magical potions that help you hit homeruns. 

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 We don’t really know whether or not Marlon Byrd was using performance enhancing drugs at an earlier junction in his career when he was a more skilled and productive player with more pop in his bat.

He’s obviously been entering his mid-30s as he has declined, and there was also that fastball that crushed his face.

jigokusabre
3 years 2 months ago

 Byrd didn’t fail a test in 2005… he failed it in 2012.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 It’s pretty much irrelevant.  Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens never failed any tests in any year.

The original supposition offered by Lunchbox45 was that steroids aren’t magical potions that help you hit home runs.  It’s fair enough, but we have no way of knowing when Marlon Byrd first used.

We just know that he was a .701 OPS hitter in the show through his first 5 seasons with a total of 20 home runs and a .790 OPS hitter with a total of 61 home runs in the next 5 seasons.

His dreadful performance this year [and significant OPS drop in 2011] comes in the aftermath of getting his face obliterated by a 93 mph fastball.

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

we only ‘know’ he was using them in 2012 because all the tests he’s taken before then came off clean. If he was taking something MLB doesn’t test for, he wasn’t ‘cheating’.

unless somebody can come up with solid proof he’s been using for years, MLB (and everybody else, for that matter) should consider his numbers ‘untainted’ up until this year.

Karkat
3 years 2 months ago

As I said to a friend, if this was Byrd’s “enhanced” performance, I shudder to think about how he would have played while “unenhanced.”

ChefR
3 years 2 months ago

Heaven forbid someone own up to what they did without fudging it around. What a refreshing taste that would be.

Fever Pitch Guy
3 years 2 months ago

You mean something like “When I turned 29 I was a career .238 hitter who had never batted better than .254 or slugged better than .420 so I knew using HGH would be the only way I could instantly become a feared .617 slugger capable of batting .302 for a full season.  Although there is now HGH testing during spring training, I decided to continue taking HGH even though it would mean really lousy numbers for the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season.  I apologize for my actions, especially to my fans who actually believed it was just a batting adjustment that instantly turned a journeyman player (6 teams in 8 years) into one of the most feared hitters in the game, at age 29.”

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

That’d still sound a lot more satisfying than blaming your wife’s fertility drugs or weaseling out on a technicality and proclaiming yourself the victim of a witch hunt… but that’s just me.

3 years 2 months ago

On Marlon Byrd—since he is unsigned right now, this exposes a flaw in the CBA – the suspension should not start until someone is on an active roster and healthy—with the MLB service time clock stopping (if applicable).

3 years 2 months ago

 I agree. I also think Freddy Galvis of the Phillies suspension shouldn’t start until he comes off of the Disabled List.

Karkat
3 years 2 months ago

He’s still under contract, though. So it’s taking away that money and preventing him from signing.

(That said, I’m inclined to agree, especially for people on the DL and stuff)

Karkat
3 years 2 months ago

“…some offers from interested parties
simply stated that they would take Youkilis ‘for nothing,’ if the Sox
were willing to pick up the entire contract.”

Am I reading this right? One of more GMs wanted the Sox to just give them Youkilis AND pay the entire rest of his contract? Why would anyone ever do that instead of just keeping the player on in a bench role.

senior52
3 years 2 months ago

 I was thinking the same thing. This statement makes no sense.

Casor_Greener
3 years 2 months ago

to prevent the player from being a distraction.  no different than waiving him

Karkat
3 years 2 months ago

 Maybe, but it still seems like a real jerk-ish thing to ‘offer’ 😛

3 years 2 months ago

That’s the way I read it.  It would make more sense for the team receiving Youk to pay the rest of his contract and the Red Sox get nothing in return but salary relief.  Maybe that’s what the statement is meant to say.

Karkat
3 years 2 months ago

 Ohhh, maybe “Sox” meant “White Sox” in the quote?

foxtown
3 years 2 months ago

I think you read it correctly the first time. People were making “something for nothing” offers.

3 years 2 months ago

Byrd might have some credibility if he wasn’t a client of BALCO and didn’t have Victor Conte as his personal trainer, just sayin’

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

except BALCO and company went out of business years ago and Byrd never failed a drug test until just now… ‘just sayin”….

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Man you jumped into this thread and did nothing but tell everyone how clean Marlon Byrd has been up until this test.

Marlon Byrd has been juicing for years.  Since at least the minor leagues.  He got caught this time.

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

because as far as baseball’s concerned, Marlon Byrd HAS been clean up until this test… hence why he only got 50 games for a first time offender.

You say he’s be juicing for years…. prove it. Don’t tell me what you think, feel, or suspect… show me the proof. Otherwise it’s all just suspicions and assumptions.

I can say “hey, doesn’t Albert Pujols’ head look a little big to you? That COULD be steroid related, you know”… and boom, by your standards he’s a cheater… even though i really have nothing besides a amateur observation based on what i’ve heard others say about Barry Bonds….

So yeah, As far as i’m concerned, every year he’s passed an MLB administered drug test, he’s clean… and if he was using before testing… well, it was legal.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Tell Marlon I said “Peace out” the next time you see him.

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

damning proof indeed….

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

You realize that MLB doesn’t bother to test your testosterone to see if it is synthetic as long as your ratios are within the acceptable range, correct?

You realize that Tamoxifen is used as post-cycle therapy to keep estrogen levels in check after your body stops producing natural testosterone during the steroid cycle, right?

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

i know that by the rules of major league baseball, anything that doesn’t come up positive on their CBA approved drug screening isn’t illegal. ANYTHING he was doing that didn’t result in a positive drug test is simply not cheating.

And tamoxifen, as i understand it, actually retards the growth of breast tissue. It’s used by cancer patients to prevent future tumors… and yes, by athletes who don’t want embarrassing side effects of steroid use.

So either Byrd’s using it to mask steroid usage… that so far is undetectable by MLB drug screening, which means he’d have to be a flaming idiot to start using a masking agent that IS detectable… or he’s got a legit medical reason for it… and while rare, breast cancer actually DOES effect men…

So yeah, i understand exactly what all the implications of it are. But you know what? all it means in any real sense is that Marlon Byrd failed a drug test, will serve a 50 game suspension, and then resume looking for a new place to play. 

Any other spin others may try to put on it is pure speculation. asserting that him using a masking agent in 2012 is proof that he’s been using for 10 or more years is simply illogical and hysterical.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

Maybe he can try looking in the Independent Leagues.

And I have no idea why you keep saying “masking agent”.  Tamoxifen is not a masking agent.  He doesn’t need a masking agent.

All he has to do is make sure his testosterone ratios are not out of the acceptable range and his sample will never be tested further.

jondogg2010
3 years 2 months ago

Speaking of salary relief, I would like to hear a phone call between Dayton Moore and Ben Cherington. This is how IMO it should go: “Hey Dayton, we needs a starter seeings that Morales has been our best starter this past week. Lefties don’t typically do too well in Fenway, but we are willing to gamble, and we know you are a small market (payroll) team. We are willing to take Chen and Broxton, and in return we will pay any remaining contract.” “Sweet Ben, sounds good, I’ll go tell Heyman or Rosenthal.”

Because that’s what it Should take. Reality might differ as lord knows Moore will expect a prospect for each player listed..

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 You don’t think Wil Myers is banging on the door right now?

$1529282
3 years 2 months ago

When has overpaying for mediocre veterans with a limited track record in order to bury more talented youth ever been a good way for a small- to mid-market team to structure itself?

Chen and Frenchy are already signed through 2013, and you’re suggesting to tack more years on TOP of that? How is signing Bruce Chen through his age-37 or age-38 season going to make this a competitive team? And who, if he is displaced by a younger player, is going to take that contract?

You can’t “always trade them” once prospects show they’re better. That’s why teams eat contracts like Aaron Rowand, Milton Bradley, etc. to make them go away. Because there’s no one who will take the contract at a certain point. No one’s going to take on a contract that pays Bruce Chen eight figures through his age-37 or 38 season if the Royals decide they’d rather have Mike Montgomery in their rotation.

Colin Christopher
3 years 2 months ago

They already extended Francoeur and Chen before the season, and extending Broxton isn’t an option. Spending big money on a closer isn’t smart for a team with limited payroll.

$1529282
3 years 2 months ago

But their long-term deal for Joakim Soria is working out so well right now…

3 years 2 months ago

 That’s ridiculous. He is earning his chance, and he is the RF of the future. They handed 3rd and 1st off to a pair of guys that are just like Myers…look how that’s going. If you can get a mediocre SP prospect for Francoeur, you take it. Let Myers start feeling out the bigs. I like the idea of extending Broxton though. Chen, I think you move him if the deal is right but you don’t shop him.

$1529282
3 years 2 months ago

Mike Trout hit .220/.281/.390 last season and seems to have recovered just fine. If Myers has to be sent back down, call up a filler piece like Jason Bourgeois and adjust accordingly. It’s not like the Royals are trying to win this season anyway.

Myers needs a chance to play, and you don’t hand him the job while sticking a guy like Francoeur on the bench. Sitting idly on the bench won’t do much of anything for any limited trade value Frenchy has in the first place. It’s best to get the money off the books and get what you can in return.

The perceived “risk” of losing Jeff Francoeur you’re speaking of is no more existent than Frenchy’s ability to draw a walk. You’re talking about it being a mistake to trade a guy who’s batting .268/.302/.398 and has a career line of .270/.312/.431 — most of which is propped up by a couple of fluke seasons.

He should already be out the door in favor of Myers, but it sounds like GMDM is having a hard time moving him, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Well Allen Craig has dealt with some injuries in his major league career, as well as a positional logjam in St. Louis the last few years where several guys who are somewhat defensively limited have been rotating around a few positions to fit their bats in.

Also, Allen Craig’s best home run total in the minors was 26 in 126 games as a 24 year old in the Pacific Coast League.  Myers has already belted 24 HR in 72 games as a 21 year old.

Colin Christopher
3 years 2 months ago

And he’s gotten better every month. At some point, you DO have to let these guys learn to make adjustments at the major league level. Hosmer was batting .400 at AAA. Seriously, man, sometimes there’s nothing left to learn at the AAA level. You keep talking about making these guys “earn” a spot and the possibility of them needing more “seasoning,” but you forget that the whole point of this is for the Major League team to win. They’re not ever going to win if they leave their best prospects in AAA for “seasoning” instead of letting them find their way at the ML level. At some point, murdering AAA pitching doesn’t help you learn how to hit Major League pitching any more.

Moe Lester
3 years 2 months ago

Yeah, but that is fluky in a way.  He’s now at the point where MLB Teams are adjusting to him, and he has to make adjustments back.  This would have happened whether he “beat” Butler out of the 1b job or was handed the job by DM. 

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Mike Trout was hitting .403/.467/.623 at AAA this year before his call up.  That’s after posting a .918 OPS across two levels of A ball as an 18 year old and a .958 OPS at AA at 19.

The guy was a stud prospect from day one who by the way hit 5 HR in 40 games in the show last year despite his .220 average.

Trout forced the issue and was coming up regardless of Vernon Wells hitting the DL.  That was just the opening.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 Right.. but the Cardinals have guys like Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig who are already hitting like Matt Adams [maybe not as good or as much top end power potential].

If you want to keep Francouer and try Myers out in CF instead of Lorenzo Cain/Jarred Dyson — whatever.  I’m just saying that Wil Myers is assassinating the baseball right now and there comes a point where you’ve got to see if he’s better than what you’re running out there.

There isn’t anyone in the Royals major league OF right now who ever put up a minor league season like Myers is currently.

setupunchtag
3 years 2 months ago

No, you don’t extend Francouer and Chen; Dayton Moore has already stupidly done that at 2 years $13.5 million for Francouer and 2 years $9 million for Chen. They don’t break the bank, but they aren’t ‘deals’, either. And calling these two quality veterans…if that’s the case then how come DM has recieved zero calls on them? Extending Broxton with Holland, Herrera and Crow would be silly; and thouugh Broxton has been effective he has by no means been dominant.

withpower
3 years 2 months ago

 This is plain false.  Alex Gordon was a perfectly fine player his first seasons in the majors, posting double digit homer totals both years and improving his OPS by 58 points in his second year.  His walk rate improved, his strikeout rate improved.

And then he got hurt for two years.

Yeah, I know a lot was made of him “going down to minors to rebuild his swing”, and sure he was in a rut, but look at his B-REF page for those two lost seasons and check the 162 game average — 19 HR, 73 BB.

They moved him off 3B because he was making 20+ errors a season and they felt it was taking away from his offense.  Before they made that decision there was talk of whether Moustakas could stick at SS or maybe move to the OF himself because of his strong arm.

3 years 2 months ago

Now alright, Frenchy isnt the greatest RF’er but he does the job fine, sure (hell of an arm tho). Why WOULDN’T they try to get something for him. I bet they can pawn him off for more than Youk got the Red Sox if the Royals play it right (July?). Either way its win win for the Royal blue. Myers will do just fine, if not, isnt Cain coming back? I just feel like KC has nothing to lose letting Jeff go. It’s not like he is part of the future and by the way, their young pitching staff in the minors really is not as great as people really perceive them to be. Just my opinion though. Everyone has them. 

Colin Christopher
3 years 2 months ago

I didn’t say I thought Myers shouldn’t earn it. You proposed contract extensions as a “novel idea,” and I merely pointed out that your “novel idea” had already happened.

Colin Christopher
3 years 2 months ago

They’ve paid him approximately a little under $15M total for the 160 saves (and 8.8 WAR according to Fangraphs) he gave them from 2007-2012. The buyout for his 2013 option is $750,000. If they buy him out, they’ll have paid a little under $2.5M/year, on average, to have one of the better closers in baseball for a 5-year span. So, yes, you’re right. This long-term deal has worked out VERY well for the Royals.

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

i think Lunchbox was being sarcastic, in the sense that “we all know everybody who plays for the rangers is juiced! Jose Canseco says so”

setupunchtag
3 years 2 months ago

redbirdsteve is arguing from 1974. Steve, stick to posting on the Cards, or you’re (not ‘your’) going to make a lot of people reconsider the notion of ‘best fans in baseball’.

petrie000
3 years 2 months ago

ehh, i wouldn’t go quite that far… steroid use doesn’t bother me THAT much. it’s really not that different from the ‘greenies’ literally every player used in the 60’s and 70’s, something the puritans of the game seem to have willingly forgot… but yeah, Braun lost all my respect for the way he acted after he so publicly got away with it.