As penalties near on PED-Day, will Biogenesis be a deterrent for future baseball drug cases?

  • Article by: BEN WALKER , AP Baseball Writer
  • Updated: August 5, 2013 - 6:26 AM
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New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez in 2012

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Baseball's PED-Day is set to launch. The question now is whether this will stop the drug cheats once and for all.

To Logan Morrison, the suspensions and shame and loss in salary might not be enough. To really deter them, the Miami Marlins' first baseman suggests clubs pay a price, too.

"Maybe penalizing the teams for guys who signed — like Melky signing that $16 million deal — maybe the team should have to give up something," Morrison said.

Which would be fine with Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis.

"We're sick of it. Tired of it," he said. "We don't want the fans thinking everybody cheats. You listen to people talk and they associate baseball with cheating."

"The teams maybe should look at some things. Not sign guys who are caught. That would be a good thing. Start taking guys' money away," Ellis said.

Major League Baseball was poised to levy significant drug suspensions Monday, with three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez and All-Stars Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta facing the stiffest penalties in the Biogenesis case. Overall, 14 players were facing discipline.

MLB has informed the Yankees that A-Rod will be suspended but can play while he appeals, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because no announcement was authorized.

Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal served suspensions after positive tests last year. They've been tied to this performance-enhancing drug case, but can't be disciplined again for the same offense.

Cabrera, the MVP of last year's All-Star game, finished his 50-game suspension in October. Released by the champion San Francisco Giants after the season, the outfielder signed a $16 million, two-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Will the upcoming penalties serve as a deterrent? Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will wait and see.

"It depends on what the punishments are. The thing with me is always the risk versus the reward," he said. "What is the reward? Getting a $150 million contract. What is the risk? A 30-day suspension, a 60-day suspension? The risk doesn't outweigh the reward."

"Until that happens, it's not going to change," he said. "It's very simple: The risk has to outweigh the reward."

And that might mean something more drastic. Say, the risk of players immediately losing their rich deals if they're caught.

"I know they're talking about" terminating contracts, St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright said. "But I don't know if you want to go down that road. Once you start, where do you stop?"

It'd be a start, Padres outfielder Will Venable said.

"My personal opinion is that the penalties need to get back to the contracts," he said. "I believe that if you cross over and decide that you are going to use the banned substance, you also should forfeit the support of the players' association."

"They are not worthy of the support of the players' association. I think the combination of that and somehow having to forfeit or void your contract that you're under is something that needs to be the main focus of the penalties," he said.

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