A-Rod suspended by MLB through 2014 season

(UNDATED) Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case -- the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.

Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension last month and previous punishments bring to 18 the total number of players disciplined for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.

The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball's highest-paid star. His suspension covers 211 games, starting Thursday, and he is expected to appeal.

The New York Yankees slugger admitted four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has repeatedly denied using them since.

A look at the penalties agreed to by players and Major League Baseball on Monday in the Biogenesis drug case, along with their salaries lost:

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Antonio Bastardo, left-handed pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies, 50 games: At times in his career, the 27-year-old has been a very effective reliever. He is 3-2 with two saves and a 2.32 ERA this season, and the hard thrower averages more than a strikeout per inning. His main problem has been bouts of wildness. Bastardo hadn't previously been linked to the Biogenesis scandal or performance-enhancing drugs. He has pitched for five seasons with the Phillies in several roles. He's done well in the playoffs, not allowing a run in five postseason appearances. Salary lost: $382,514.

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Everth Cabrera, shortstop, San Diego Padres, 50 games: A switch-hitter who is one of the top base stealers in the big leagues, Cabrera is making $1,275,000 this season. He was the lone All-Star from the struggling Padres, but didn't get into the game. Cabrera said during spring training that he was "a little surprised" and "disappointed" that his name reportedly was listed in Biogenesis records, but otherwise declined specific comment. He did not say whether he had taken, purchased or received performance-enhancing drugs. He said at the time that he would fully cooperate with MLB. The 26-year-old Cabrera has been with the Padres since reaching the big leagues in 2009. He is hitting .283 and leads the National League with 37 steals. Salary lost: $348,361.

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Francisco Cervelli, catcher, New York Yankees, 50 games: On the disabled list since breaking his right hand when it was hit by a foul ball April 26, Cervelli has said he consulted with Biogenesis after a foot injury in 2011 but did not receive any treatment from the facility. He insisted a recommendation to visit the clinic did not come from an agent or another player and that he never spoke with Alex Rodriguez about the clinic. The injury occurred during what was shaping up to be Cervelli's best season as a major leaguer. He was praised for his handling of the pitching staff and was hitting .269 with three homers and eight RBIs in 52 at-bats. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week "it's looking more and more like it's going to be unrealistic to see Cervelli" again this season because of finger and elbow pain. Salary lost: $140,806.

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Nelson Cruz, right fielder, Texas Rangers, 50 games: The 2011 AL championship series MVP, Cruz had never previously been linked to performance-ending drugs. After his name showed up in the Miami New Times report on Biogenesis of America, attorneys for Cruz issued a statement that read, "To the extent these allegations and inferences refer to Nelson, they are denied." When Cruz reported to spring training in February he said it was "shocking" and "depressing" to see his name connected with Biogenesis. Even with the lingering questions, he became an All-Star for the second time last month. Cruz, who turned 33 on July 1, is eligible for free agency after this season. He signed a $16 million, two-year contract to avoid salary arbitration in February 2012, when the Rangers were fresh off two straight World Series appearances. He leads second-place Texas with 27 homers and 76 RBIs this year. Salary lost: $2,732,240.

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Fautino De Los Santos, right-handed pitcher, San Diego Padres, assigned to Double-A San Antonio, 50 games: The 27-year-old was 3-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 34 relief appearances for Oakland in 2011 and didn't have a decision while compiling a 3.00 ERA in six appearances last year, when he spent most of the season in the minors. He was traded to Milwaukee on July 29 last year, then claimed off waivers by San Diego on Feb. 6. Optioned to Triple-A Tucson (PCL), he went 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two relief appearances before he was released on May 15.

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Sergio Escalona, left-handed pitcher, Houston Astros, assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi, 50 games: Escalona was the winning pitcher in his major league debut, throwing a scoreless inning for Philadelphia in 2009. He made 49 relief appearances for the Astros in 2011, going 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA. Escalona missed the entire 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and returned this year, going 1-2 with a 6.60 ERA in 12 minor league games.

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Fernando Martinez, outfielder, with Houston Astros at time of violation, now New York Yankees, assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 50 games: The 24-year-old has a .206 batting average, nine homers and 29 RBIs in 99 major league games over five seasons with the New York Mets (2009-11) and Astros (2012-13). Sent outright to the minors in May, he was traded to the Yankees in June for minor league right-hander Charles Basford.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jordany Valdespin, second baseman, 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 also has 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.

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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.

Text of Selig's statement on drug investigation:

Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports. I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts - not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case. Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program. We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules.

Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. For weeks, I have noted the many players throughout the game who have strongly voiced their support on this issue, and I thank them for it. I appreciate the unwavering support of our owners and club personnel, who share my ardent desire to address this situation appropriately. I am also grateful to the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and our club physicians, who were instrumental in the banning of amphetamines and whose expertise remains invaluable to me. As an institution, we have made unprecedented strides together.

It is important to point out that 16,000 total urine and blood tests were conducted on players worldwide under MLB Drug Programs in 2012. With the important additions of the hGH testing and longitudinal profiling this season, we are more confident than ever in the effectiveness of the testing program. Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way.

This case resoundingly illustrates that the strength of our Program is not limited only to testing. We continue to attack this issue on every front - from science and research, to education and awareness, to fact-finding and investigative skills. Major League Baseball is proud of the enormous progress we have made, and we look forward to working with the players to make the penalties for violations of the Drug Program even more stringent and a stronger deterrent.

As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field. We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game.

Reaction to MLB suspensions:

"I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process. I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight. I want to thank my family, friends and fans who have stood by my side through all this." -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

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"Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way." -- Commissioner Bud Selig, from a statement released by MLB.

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"The accepted suspensions announced today are consistent with the punishments set forth in the Joint Drug Agreement, and were arrived at only after hours of intense negotiations between the bargaining parties, the players and their representatives. For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously.

The Union's members have made it clear that they want a clean game. They support efforts to discipline players, and harshly, to help ensure an even playing field for all. The players support the Union's efforts to uphold the JDA while at the same time guaranteeing that players receive the due process rights and confidentiality protections granted under the agreement.

Lastly, I want to close by stating our profound disappointment in the way individuals granted access to private and privileged information felt compelled to share that information publicly. The manner in which confidential information was so freely exchanged is not only a threat to the success and credibility of our jointly administered program; it calls into question the level of trust required to administer such a program. It is our view that when the bargaining parties hold their annual review of the program, we must revisit the JDA's confidentiality provisions and consider implementing stricter rules for any breach by any individual involved in the process." -- MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner.

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"I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers' fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs." -- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, suspended 50 games.

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"In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers' organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension. I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost." -- Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, suspended 50 games.

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"The penalties are a joke. If these players were in the Olympics or USA Track and Field, for example - the gold standards of testing - each player's first major finding like this would cause a two year ban--a real penalty. Fifty games is less than a third of a season. These guys will be back for the playoffs! Baseball is not serious." -- former Clinton administration drug policy spokesman Bob Weiner.

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"It is with sadness and disappointment that we learned today that Alex Rodriguez has once again violated the rules of Major League Baseball by using illegal substances. ... We have had a good relationship with Rodriguez since early 2009 when we stood with him at his press conference in Tampa. There, he issued his public mea culpa, committed that he would not be involved in the future with banned substances, and said that he wanted to help us to encourage kids to stay away from them. He offered to use his situation as an example to let them know that it is not right for them to use performance enhancing drugs. Working together, we've delivered messages to thousands of kids and have impacted their lives in a positive way. But today's announcement leaves us no option but to discontinue our relationship with Alex Rodriguez." -- Don Hooton president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which aims to educate youth about the hazards of steroid use.

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"Today, I was notified by Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and will not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made significant errors in judgment during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those errors. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Phillies' organization, Phillies' fans and my family, and look forward to helping the Phillies win a championship in 2014." -- Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, suspended 50 games.

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"We are in full support of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We also recognize and respect the appeals process. Until the process under the Drug Program is complete, we will have no comment. We are confident that the process outlined in the Drug Program will result in the appropriate resolution of this matter. In the meantime, the Yankees remain focused on playing baseball.

However, we are compelled to address certain reckless and false allegations concerning the Yankees' role in this matter. The New York Yankees in no way instituted and/or assisted MLB in the direction of this investigation; or used the investigation as an attempt to avoid its responsibilities under a player contract; or did its medical staff fail to provide the appropriate standard of care to Alex Rodriguez.

Separately, we are disappointed with the news today of the suspension of Francisco Cervelli. It's clear that he used bad judgment." -- statement issued by the New York Yankees.

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"The Texas Rangers are disappointed that Nelson Cruz has violated the terms of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program resulting in his suspension. The Rangers' organization fully supports the MLB program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game." -- statement issued by the Texas Rangers.

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"I am very pleased that Major League Baseball has cleared my name. With this process now complete, I have no lingering sense of animosity, as I quickly realized that the objective of this investigation was to clean up our game. This is an ideal that I share with both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA." -- Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who was linked to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, but exonerated by MLB's investigation.


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