Fautino De Los Santos Rumors

MLB Officially Announces Biogenesis Suspensions

After months of speculation, we have some finality for a dozen of the players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal.  Major League Baseball has officially announced 50-game suspensions for Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, Antonio Bastardo, Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli, Jordany Valdespin, Fautino De Los Santos, Jordan Norberto, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez and Sergio Escalona.

All of those players will accept their suspensions, while Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for 211 games (effective Aug. 8), will appeal his suspension and be eligible to play until that process is complete.

The suspensions carry particular weight for the Rangers and Tigers. The Rangers, who are 2.5 games back of the A's in the AL West and just a half-game behind the Indians for a Wild Card berth, will lose their starting right-fielder and club home run leader in Cruz for the remainder of the regular season.

The Tigers will lose Peralta, their starting shortstop, for the remainder of the season as they look to fend off surging Cleveland and Kansas City clubs and win the American League Central division. Detroit safeguarded itself somewhat against the loss of Perata by acquiring Jose Iglesias in a three-team deal with the White Sox and Red Sox prior to the trade deadline.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first to tweet that Cruz would accept his suspension. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted that Peralta, Cabrera, Bastardo and Valdespin would also accept 50-game bans. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports added Escalona to the list (Twitter link), and Rosenthal reported that Cervelli, Montero, Puello, De Los Santos, Martinez and Norberto would do the same (on Twitter).

A-Rod, 12 Others To Be Suspended Monday

Alex Rodriguez and 12 other players will be suspended for their involvement with Biogenesis, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Earlier today, we learned Rodriguez is to be suspended through the 2014 season and Heyman names Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli among the Major League players also expected to be suspended, as well as minor leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos, and Cesar Puello. Heyman adds there are also three players on the suspension list whose names have yet to become public.

Heyman writes Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, A's right-hander Bartolo Colon, and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal will not be suspended in connection with Biogenesis, as they have served 50-game penalties already. 

All or almost all of the other 12 players are expected to accept 50-game suspensions, though there could be an additional holdout or two for appeal beyond Rodriguez, reports Heyman. All the players have the option to appeal, but it is believed close to all of them have made agreements for 50-game bans with MLB, Heyman adds. Players who appeal are eligible to keep playing until their case is heard.

Cruz told reporters, including MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, "I haven't decided what I'm going to do about anything. It's not just about myself, it's also about the team." Today is the 112th game played by the Rangers, so Cruz would be eligible to return for the playoffs (assuming Texas reaches the post-season), if he serves a 50-game suspension beginning Monday. Sullivan surmises the Rangers will recall an outfielder from the minors adding Manny Ramirez is not an option and manager Ron Washington is reluctant to use Jurickson Profar in the outfield. Regardless of what the Rangers end up doing, assistant GM Thad Levine acknowledges, "At this stage of the season, that's a difficult bat to replace."

MLB Preparing To Suspend At Least 20 Players In Biogenesis Scandal

9:46pm: Besides Braun and Rodriguez, "other major, major names" are also involved in the Biogenesis case, a source tells Bob Klapsich of the Bergen Record (Twitter link).

6:56pm: Major League Baseball is planning to suspend at least 20 players connected to Biogenesis, the Miami clinic under investigation for supplying performance-enhancing drugs, reports T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez and Mike Fish of ESPN's Outside The Lines.  Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch has agreed to cooperate with the investigation and begin naming players, with suspensions possibly following within two weeks.

The list of possible suspensions includes Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto, plus others who are named in documents that the ESPN team haven't had access to, or are known under code names.

MLB officials have also investigated a possible connection between Biogenesis and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, as the spokeswoman for Cano's foundation (Sonia Cruz) has had her name appear in some clinic documents.  Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez isn't expected to face suspension for his connection to Biogenesis since the products he obtained from the clinic weren't banned.

The league could look for a 100-game suspension (the penalty for second-time PED offenders) for Rodriguez, Braun and other first-time offenders since both the connection to Biogenesis and previous denials to MLB officials would serve as seperate offenses.  It is unknown how MLB would deal with players like Cabrera or Colon who already have PED suspensions on their record, though these players probably wouldn't face a lifetime ban as three-time offenders — their prior suspensions would likely count as their so-called "first strike," with this next violation putting them in line for 100-game suspensions as well.

Quinn/Gomez/Fish report that, as expected, the accused players will challenge any possible suspensions and it could be difficult for the league to obtain corroborating evidence in the appeals process beyond Bosch's testimony.

Minor Moves: Humber, De Los Santos, Richmond

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • Astros pitcher Philip Humber has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to Chris Cotillo of CLNSRadio.com (via Twitter).  MLBTR has learned that the right-hander has until Friday to accept the assignment or elect free agency.  Humber was designated for assignment earlier this week after posting a 9.59 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in seven starts and two relief appearances.
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets that the Padres have requested unconditional release waivers on Fautino De Los Santos, confirming an earlier tweet from Chris Cotillo of CLNS Radio. De Los Santos, 27, was designated for assignment over the weekend. He made only two appearances for Triple-A Tucson this season due to an injury but has a 4.21 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings at the Major League level — all coming with the A's. His release will become official on Thursday.
  • The Rangers have signed right-hander Scott Richmond to a minor league contract, according to Jeff Sullivan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). The 33-year-old Canadian hurler has a 5.27 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 169 big league innings for the Blue Jays. Richmond, who was pitching in Korea prior to this signing, was on Team Canada's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He will report to extended Spring Training, according to Sullivan.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Padres Designate Fautino De Los Santos

The Padres announced that they have designated pitcher Fautino De Los Santos for assignment.  The move creates roster space which will allow Double-A hurler Burch Smith to be called up to the varsity squad.

De Los Santos, 27, has 40 big league games to his credit with the A's where he posted a 4.21 ERA with 11.4 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9.  Over three seasons at the Triple-A level, the right-hander has a 4.65 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.  De Los Santos is no stranger to the waiver process and came to the Padres in February when he was cut loose by the Brewers.

NL East Notes: Gio, Owings, Stanton, Young

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez was one of several players whose names were found in the records of Biogenesis, a Miami clinic linked to PEDs, as revealed last month by the Miami New Times.  According to a new report from ESPN's Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn, however, none of the substances that Gonzalez allegedly purchased are banned by Major League Baseball.  Gonzalez has denied any personal involvement with Biogenesis, though his father is a client of the clinic. 

Here are some more items from around the NL East…

Padres Claim Fautino De Los Santos

The Padres claimed right-hander Fautino De Los Santos off of waivers from Milwaukee, according to the Brewers. The Brewers officially announced the signing of Alex Gonzalez in a related move.

De Los Santos appeared in six games for the Athletics in 2012, pitching out of the bullpen. The A's traded the 26-year-old to Milwaukee last July in the deal that sent George Kottaras to Oakland. De Los Santos posted a 5.80 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings of relief work at Triple-A in 2012.

Athletics To Acquire George Kottaras From Brewers

SUNDAY, 12:51am: The Brewers will receive right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos in the trade according to Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle. The 26-year-old pitched to a 7.25 ERA in 36 Triple-A innings this year and owns a 4.21 ERA with 11.4 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 in 36 1/3 big league innings with Oakland over the last two seasons.

SATURDAY, 3:05pm: The Brewers and Athletics have agreed on a trade to send catcher George Kottaras to Oakland, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  It's not yet known what the Brewers will receive in return.

Kottaras, 29, was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Thursday.  The catcher has a .209/.409/.360 slash line in 116 plate appearances this year for the Brewers.  In parts of five big league seasons, Kottaras owns a .221/.326/.402 batting line.  The Brewers replenished their catching depth this afternoon when they inked Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal for the catcher.

Rogers On White Sox, Gamel, Cabrera, Yankees

The White Sox have a new third baseman of the future, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Dayan Viciedo held his own as a 20-year-old in AA this year (.708 OPS), but Brent Morel has passed him on Rogers' depth chart with a torrid stint in the Arizona Fall League. Here are the rest of Rogers' rumors:

  •  A's GM Billy Beane likes what he sees from pitching prospect Fautino de los Santos, who is hitting the mid-nineties as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
  • Casey McGehee has emerged as a solid player, but the Brewers are reluctant to trade Mat Gamel, even if it would net them the starting pitching they covet.
  • The Twins are talking to Orlando Cabrera about returning to play second base.
  • Rogers says the Yankees are more likely to sign Johnny Damon than Hideki Matsui.

Nick Swisher Traded To White Sox

Baseball Digest Daily is reporting that the A’s have traded Nick Swisher to the White Sox for Gio Gonzalez, Fautino De Los Santos, and Ryan Sweeney.  I’d heard about the Sweeney part but hadn’t been able to confirm it.  This is a fascinating trade – let’s discuss.

I have to imagine the White Sox plan to use Swisher as their center fielder for the next couple of years; he did play 59 games there in ’07.  Kenny Williams stuck to his word about adding OBP to his team, picking up Swisher and Carlos Quentin to fill out his outfield.  Swisher, 27, is signed at a very reasonable price: $3.5MM in ’08, $5.3MM in ’09, $6.75MM in ’10, $9MM in ’11, and a $10.25MM club option for ’12 with a $1MM buyout.  The option gets a $1.75MM bump if Swisher is top five for the MVP voting during the contract.  He has limited no-trade protection for 2011-12.

The White Sox paid a massive price to get their man, however.  Pitchers De Los Santos and Gonzalez were their two best prospects, according to Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein.  De Los Santos is said to have a huge ceiling, whereas Gio is a solid lefty who’s nearly big-league ready.  Goldstein ranked Sweeney eighth on the team, but projects him as more of a fourth-outfielder type (he was once very highly regarded though).

If it wasn’t obvious with the Dan Haren trade, the A’s are in full-fledged rebuilding mode.  Joe Blanton, Huston Street, and Mark Ellis could be next to go.