Free agent catcher Taylor Teagarden has received an 80-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy, per a league announcement.
The eight-year MLB veteran — who appeared briefly last year with the Cubs — was shown in an Al Jazeera documentary late last year discussing his apparent use of PEDs. It’s unclear whether that evidence provided the basis for his suspension, though the announcement does not refer to any failed tests or alternative grounds for the decision.
Major league baseball has teamed up with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to investigate the allegations against Teagarden and others in the above-noted report, which also cited long-time major leaguers Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard — along with stars from other sports — as possible PED offenders.
Of course, it’s important to note that the documentary did not provide anything close to the same level of evidence against those other players as it did with regard to Teagarden, who was surreptitiously taped by a British track athlete posing as an interested PED buyer. Both Zimmerman and Howard have filed a lawsuit alleging defamation against the news agency, while the league has yet to give any indication as to the status of its investigation into the two veterans.
Tegarden, 32, had not signed with an organization when the report aired, and perhaps unsurprisingly has yet to do so since. He has topped 100 plate appearances in a single season only once — back in 2009 with the Rangers — but has been a popular depth piece for quite some time. There’s some pop in his bat, but Teagarden also carries a 34.5% career strikeout rate. All told, he owns a .202/.260/.376 batting line with 21 home runs over 563 major league plate appearances.