The Indians announced today that center fielder Abraham Almonte has received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for a banned substance (Boldenone, per a statement from MLB).
While he’s far from a household name, Almonte quietly enjoyed a strong 51-game run with the Indians this past season after being acquired from the Padres in exchange for left-hander Marc Rzepczynski. The switch-hitter batted .264/.321/.455 across 196 plate appearances with Cleveland, adding five homers, six steals and quality defensive contributions. He had been projected to get the bulk of the club’s playing time in center field.
For Cleveland, the loss of Almonte for half of the regular season further thins out what was already a questionable outfield picture. The Indians did reportedly bring veteran outfielder Will Venable into camp on a minor league deal today, but the team’s outfield depth chart is still perilously thin. Michael Brantley figures to begin the season on the disabled list, leaving the Indians with Rajai Davis, Collin Cowgill and Lonnie Chisenhall as its primary options on the 40-man roster (plus Venable and fellow non-roster invitees Shane Robinson, Michael Choice and Robbie Grossman).
The Indians have recently been tied to Austin Jackson but were said recently to be done spending on Major League free agents with their payroll nearly maxed out. Almonte’s suspension won’t provide Cleveland with any sort of financial relief, as he is not yet arbitration-eligible, but one has to wonder whether his absence will motivate the team to take some action on the free agent market. Jackson is the top name available, though other outfield options that have yet to sign include David Murphy, David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd, Alex Rios and former Indians cornerstone Grady Sizemore.
But how can he be suspended if he wasn’t changed with a crime?
(Sorry, hard to resist.)
Now u done it B/Sky.. Someone will come up with he moved to Colorado (some other weed state legal) and it’s no different, so therefore? It’s no issue.
He should be banned for life. .
Ouch. The thin get thinner. This is a real problem for a team projected to be right there in their division by end of year. I think they need to dive into their prospect depth and bring in a good cheap OF from a bad team. Charlie Blackmon comes to mind. Jay Bruce too but he’s kind of expensive.
They were interested in Bruce for a brief time earlier in the offseason. If the Reds kick in most of the cash I wonder if we could get a B level prospect back.
You all want Michael Bourn back? Am sure Atlanta would be willing to negotiate.
wants to be a GM
No thanks, you guys can keep him. We’d rather have Sizemore than Bourn.
Unfortunate news in many ways, but boy am I glad the Red Sox are opening their season against Cleveland sans Brantley and Almonte. Just need to figure out how to score against Klubot, Carrasco and Salazar.
Klubot? Is that some sort of hybrid between Corey Kluber and a robot
The doc will be just as bad. Don’t stress
Braves will give you bourn and/or swisher back for a Coke… Or empty Coke can and half a stick of un-chewed double mint, throw in a Jerry Johnson or Chris Johnson baseball card and we’ll throw in frediot 🙂
Hush your mouth!
Time to call the Cubs.
Indians don’t have anything a team like the Cubs would want, since they’re not trading form their major league rotation (what would the point of that be? That’s the whole reason they’re a good team.) If they make a trade, it’s gonna be from prospects depth, and therefore with a bad team.
Brady Aiken, C Fraizer and T McKenzie for Soler. A little depth in the system never hurts.
I am sure the Cubs would be very interested in some of their pitching prospects. Plus, they pretty much just gave Coghlan away. The suspension came a few days too late. He would have been a perfect fit for Cleveland and I am sure they would have given a better player than Brooks in return.
Shane Victorino for a bag of balls?
Just terrible news for the Indians, Almonte was a key reason the Indians finished strong last season. It’s really sad, Almonte really puts the Indians in a difficult position.
How about Ender Inciarte and Michael Bourn for Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier and Brady Aiken.
How bout Ender Inciarte, Michael Bourn and $9 Million for Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier, Brady Aiken and Francisco Mejia
Na. We might be more open to signing Jackson, however.
Someone got a little too used to trading with Dave Stewart
So 2 top 50 prospects and a pitcher with one of the highest ceilings for 2 light hitting outfielders?
I thought these big suspensions were supposed to stop PED usage in the majors? Just goes to show you that with this much money on the table, people will always try to get around the rules to ensure their piece. Sometimes they get caught, but he has already made several hundred thousand dollars as a big leaguer. Maybe he doesn’t make the bigs without the “help.” He would have had to work his entire life to make that much money in his home country, if even then. As long as countries as poor as the DR are supplying players, then some are going to risk getting caught to get a lifetime’s worth of money in just a couple of years. I don’t know the solution, or even if there is one, but I know more suspensions and even lifetime bans are not ever going to completely eradicate the problem.
Or maybe he just made a mistake? Maybe we shouldn’t assume anything. Do you know what is in every pill your doctor prescribes you? Heck, do you know what is in everything you eat and drink?
He tested positive for boldenone. Read about it. It wasn’t a mistake. http://playhealthy.drugfree.org/facts/boldenone
Y’all can have bourn and swisher back for a Coke… Too much? How about an empty Coke can, half a stick of double mint, and a Chris Johnson rookie card. But the braves get to keep Mrs swisher, she’ll be the best thing we see at turner field all year long haha. Ne way we get y’all to take frediot?
Go sign Jackson he would be a cheap option for the Indians
Jackson turned down 5 mil from Angels, he’s looking for 6-8 mil for 1 season Indians don’t have the money. It will be Venable/Davis in CF. In LF will depend on who takes a minor league deal. Probably a Sizemore reunion? Sizemore/Butler/Cowgill platoon LF til Brantley comes back.
I think the amount of playing time (not wanting to platoon) was more the factor then the money….it’s hard to rebuild your worth playing 2-3 days a week….
No Soup For Yu!
Jackson turned down the offer because he would have likely been a 4th outfielder and that’s not a great way to rebuild your free agent stock. If the Indians offered him the same deal I guarantee you he’d sign in a heartbeat.
Yeah the article doesn’t mention Butler, who is on the 40-man and has every bit a chance of making it as Cowgill IMO.
Plus there will be an open spot on the 40 now though I guess Venable could be the guy there.
As an Indians fan, what a stupid, ignorant human being. I know they won’t release him but they should. Abraham Almonte.. you are the bonehead of the week. I am so angry I released you on my MLB the Show team. Hope it hurts…
wants to be a GM
That’ll show him.
I know it may be a little harsh but I have to hold firm and teach him a lesson.
Just sign Dejesus and be done with it. No way Almonte would outplay Dejesus this year anyway.
Dejesus was never a CF. Davis is not the type to run out to CF everyday.
When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
That’s a long acting horse steroid. Anyone using that is begging for a positive test. I guess some guys use it because its cheap which is why guys who are making the minimum or minor leaguers tend to use it Why arent these agents/teams educating the players?
Are we as Indians fans really that worried about this? I mean yeah he’s an idiot and yeah this is a tough way to miss time, but I was pretty worried about having him as the every day guy going into 2016. The guy has 1/3 of a good season in the bigs under his belt. There’s much more proven commodities still out there that they can bring in but are not, and that’s where I’d focus the frustration. Not on Abe being out.
I agree, rather play Venable/Davis in CF. Sign Sizemore or DeJesus on a minor league & go with Sizemore/DeJesus/Venable/Cowgill/Butler in LF. Almonte is a AAAA player who just threw away his last opportunity to play every day. Seattle/New York/San Diego are smart organizations which know what Almonte truely is. The Indians were delusional counting on Almonte based on 2 months of playing CF. That’s a very small sample size, my guess Indians non-tender Almonte at the end of season & becomes the “journeyman” that he was destined to become.
I don’t believe Marlon Byrd has signed anywhere, yet. He would be able to handle LF.
Woah….seriously? Grady Sizemore? Are you seriously advocating for him? You do realize he can’t play anymore, right?
they should probably call the Brewers about one of their 9 OF in camp. gotta believe between Flores, Liriano, Reed, Nieuwenhuis, Broxton…there’s an affordable player to bring in at modest cost.
Worst case scenario they can just wait, watch the competition from afar, and bottomfeed. They can make an offer a week before the season starts if one or more of the guys with options end up being the clear favorites, or claim whoever gets DFA’ed.
I personally think Venable is better than Almonte regardless. I’d be shocked if he’s not Cleveland’s every day CF. Could be the best minor league deal of the offseason IMO
As a Padres fan, I can tell you Venable isn’t any good. He is athletic and can handle center, with a decent throwing arm, and he runs well, but he just can’t hit. Lefties destroy him and he has real trouble recognizing breaking pitches from righties. I always thought, given his late development curve (he mostly played basketball in college) that he would learn to hit, but he never really has.
He is the best outfielder I have ever seen. He has keen insight, good hands, outstanding feet and a mind that in today’s world is hard to find. The Padres desperately want him back but thank goodness, the Tribe knows a real steal when they find one.
Sox got Craig. He’s ready to bounce back.
I guess that makes him “Not So Honest” Abe.
I have given my pet cat, Matilda Megan, Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate) for years to help her get more testosterone. It helps her be fit, happy and maintain a good weight. Mr. Amonte should never have been suspended for utilizing this outstanding suppliment!.