In a shocking development, Miami Marlins’ second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended for 80 games after triggering a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, according to a league announcement. The speedy Gordon tested positive for exogenous testosterone and clostebol.
Gordon, 28, is coming off the best year of his career in 2015; winning the National League batting title, gold glove, leading the league in stolen bases and making his second All-Star team. Those efforts earned Gordon a five-year, $50 million extension this past offseason.
“Dee Gordon is a very important part of our team and we all love and support him,” Marlins president David Samson said to reporters, including Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.“That said, I do not like or condone what he did. He’s an important member of this organization and will be for many years to come. It’s a huge, huge disappointment to the kids, to our fans, to his teammates, and to everyone in our organization who works hard every single day to put a product on the field and off the field that all Miamians can be proud of.”
The reason for the suspension being announced so late was because Gordon dropped his appeal and wanted to inform his teammates himself, per Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.
“He will be back 80 games from now and he will be welcomed back to this organization,” Samson added. “But in the interim period, we expect him, and we are positive he that he will do whatever is necessary to make it up to our fans, to his teammates, and to this organization.”
As MLB Trade Rumors mentions, Gordon will lose approximately half of his $3 million salary for 2016 due to the suspension. Also, under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, Gordon will not be eligible for the postseason if the Marlins make it that far.
This suspension comes just two days after Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Jake Arrieta became a topic of discussion as a possible PED user. After struggling through the first few years of his career in Baltimore, Arrieta has emerged as one of MLB’s top pitchers. ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, in particular, brought up some reasons why Arrieta’s performance could be suspect.
Dee Gordon is shocking, but not as shocking that guys are still comfortable using. Obvious there’s a belief that tests can be beat.
— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) April 29, 2016
Gordon, who is the son of former MLB pitcher Tom Gordon, himself has broken out after struggling in the early part of his career. After hitting a meager.255 during his first three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gordon broke out in 2014 by hitting.289, with an NL-leading 64 stolen bases in 148 games.
That offseason, Gordon, along with Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas, was traded to Miami in exchange for Andrew Heaney, Chris Hatcher, Austin Barnes, and Enrique Hernández. Primarily a shortstop with the Dodgers, Gordon switched over to second base as the team had Adeiny Hechavarria.
Gordon’s first year in Miami was stellar as he hit.333 while leading the league in hits (205) and stolen bases (58). He became the first player since Jackie Robinson to lead the league in batting average and stolen bases, via ESPN.
In fact, dating back to 2013, Gordon has become one of the elite two-way players in the entire league.
Dee Gordon Last 3 Seasons
Hits 406 2nd
Triples 22 T-1st
SB 128 1st
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 29, 2016
With Gordon’s production among the best in baseball, the Marlins decided to sign him for the long term.
“I’m thrilled to be affirming our long-term commitment to Dee Gordon, not only one of the most dynamic players in baseball but also an outstanding young man,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement to ESPN after the five-year, $50 million extension was made official. “It’s truly incredible and historic what he did in his first season with our ballclub. He adds great energy and camaraderie in the clubhouse, but what’s more, he’s an exceptional person off the field.”
Recently, Toronto Blue Jays’ first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello also received an 80-game suspension due to testing positive for PEDs.
[Featured Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]