Earlier today, word came by way of ESPN’s Buster Onley that MLB and the MLBPA were in negotiations over a possible suspension length for Jose Guillen, who yesterday reached a 3-year, $36 million preliminary agreement with the Kansas City Royals. As reported by ESPN:
The Major League Baseball Players Association is negotiating with MLB officials on a possible 10- to 15-day suspension for outfielder Jose Guillen for his reported involvement in the purchase of steroids and human growth hormone, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Wednesday.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003 through 2005.
Major League Baseball began testing for steroids in 2003, and penalties for first offenses began in 2005. HGH was banned by MLB in January 2005.
“We told the commissioner’s office my version of this whole affair, which in some ways has been handled with some errors in the media,” Guillen was quoted as saying Tuesday by ESPNdeportes.com when asked about the situation.
Now comes word from the Commissioner’s Office that there will be no deal on a possible Guillen suspension.
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for Labor Relations, issued the following statement to respond to reports regarding outfielder Jose Guillen:
“I interviewed Mr. Guillen. I’ve had an ongoing dialogue with the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding the relevant facts and circumstances. We do not, however, negotiate discipline. The Commissioner will determine what discipline, if any, is appropriate when I conclude my investigation.”
While a good dose of tea leaf reading is involved here, the tone of Manfred’s statement lends one to believe that MLB will be taking the hard line with Guillen and that attempts to negotiate a deal does not sit currently fit within management’s framework for possible suspensions involving PEDs.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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