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A look at the players suspended by MLB on Monday
Jesus Montero, designated hitter and catcher, Seattle Mariners, on option to Triple-A Tacoma, 50 games: The 23-year-old Montero was acquired by Seattle before the 2012 season in a trade that sent right-hander Michael Pineda to the Yankees. Montero was considered one of the top prospects in baseball after a brief stint with New York at the end of 2011. He got off to a solid start in Seattle last year, hitting .260 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs. The Mariners were hoping he could take over as the team’s full-time catcher this season, but that never materialized. After he was linked to Biogenesis in the offseason, Montero was not in the shape the Mariners wanted when he arrived at spring training. He played in 29 games before being demoted to the minors in late May and had barely settled in at Tacoma when he sustained a left knee injury that required surgery. He recently rejoined Tacoma after a short stint in the Arizona Rookie League. Salary lost: $79,820.
Jordan Norberto, left-handed pitcher, Oakland Athletics at time of violation, now free agent, 50 games: The 27-year-old has a 4-3 record with a 4.00 ERA in 78 games with Arizona (2010) and Oakland (2011-12). He started spring training with Oakland and was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on March 29. He appeared in three games for the River Cats, allowing six runs and walking seven in 1 1-3 innings before being placed on the disabled list April 13 with a strained left elbow. He was released on May 8.
Jhonny Peralta, shortstop, Detroit Tigers, 50 games: The 31-year-old Peralta made his second All-Star team this year, and his absence will make things tougher for the Tigers as they try to outlast Cleveland and win their third straight AL Central title. Detroit acquired infielder Jose Iglesias from Boston in a three-team deal shortly before the trade deadline to bolster its chances in case Peralta was suspended. Peralta is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Detroit exercised a $6 million option to keep him for 2013. He began his career with Cleveland in 2003 and played for the Indians until 2010. He is batting .305 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. Salary lost: $1,639,344.
Cesar Puello, outfielder, New York Mets, on option to Double-A Binghamton, 50 games: The 22-year-old has been in the Mets’ minor league system since 2008. Considered a top prospect, he has been on the 40-man roster since November 2011 but has not made his major league debut. He is hitting .328 with 16 homers, 73 RBIs and 24 steals this season at Binghamton. Salary lost: $21,831.
Alex Rodriguez, third baseman, New York Yankees, 211 games (through 2014 season): The American League Most Valuable Player in 2003, 2005 and 2007, Rodriguez had hip surgery on Jan. 16. On the verge of returning to the Yankees last month, he was diagnosed with a strained left quadriceps July 21 that sidelined him for two more weeks. He was finally set to rejoin the team Monday following a pair of minor league rehab assignments. Rodriguez’s suspension takes effect Thursday, but the 38-year-old slugger said he will appeal. That would keep him eligible to play until a decision by the arbitrator, which is not expected until the offseason. A 14-time All-Star, Rodriguez was selected by Seattle with the No. 1 pick in the 1993 amateur draft. He signed a record $252 million, 10-year contract with Texas after the 2000 season, then was traded to the Yankees in February 2004 and agreed to shift from shortstop. After exercising his right to terminate the deal, he re-signed with New York in December 2007, agreeing to a $275 million, 10-year contract that included $30 million in bonus opportunities. After failing to produce in October for much of his career, he had a huge postseason in 2009 and was a key to the Yankees’ World Series title. He is fifth on the career home run list with 647, trailing Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660). His career has been slowed by six trips to the disabled list in the last six seasons, for a strained right quadriceps in 2008, right hip surgery in 2009, a strained left calf in 2010, right knee surgery in 2011, a broken left hand in 2012 and left hip surgery this year. In 2009, Rodriguez admitted using performance-enhancing drugs in 2001-03 while with Texas. After the Miami New Times story was published, Rodriguez issued a statement through spokesman Terry Fahn saying: “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. (Anthony) Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story _ at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez _ are not legitimate.” Salary lost: $30 million to $33 million, if suspension lasts the full 211 games.
Jordany Valdespin, second baseman and outfielder, New York Mets, on option to Triple-A Las Vegas, 50 games: The 25-year-old Valdespin reached the majors last year and quickly showed power off the bench with a penchant for pinch-hit homers. But he’s also irked teammates and opponents with his flashy antics on and off the field. Unpopular in the clubhouse, he was hitting .188 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 133 at-bats when he was demoted to Las Vegas last month. He’s batting .466 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 16 games at Triple-A. Salary lost: $61,773.
NOTE 1: Cruz also loses opportunity to earn $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.
NOTE 2: Sergio Escalona, Fernando Martinez and Fautino De Los Santos have minor league contracts.
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