Fernando Abad given 80-game drug suspension
NEW YORK (AP) — Pitcher Fernando Abad, an eight-year major league veteran who ended last season with Boston, has been suspended 80 games under baseball's minor league drug program following a positive test for the steroid Stanozolol.
The suspension of the 32-year-old left-hander was announced Thursday by the commissioner's office. In addition, Chicago Cubs pitcher David Garner was banned for 100 games following a third violation for a drug of abuse. Garner, on the roster of Triple-A Iowa, was suspended for 50 games on March 23 after his second violation for a drug of abuse.
Abad was 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 48 games with the Red Sox last year, became a free agent, agreed to a minor league contract with Philadelphia and was released March 21. He is 8-27 with a 3.65 ERA with Houston (2010-12), Washington (2013), Oakland (2014-15), Minnesota (2016) and the Red Sox (2016-17).
Abad said he undertook an appeal and "was clear with everything I consumed."
"I would like to apologize to my teammates, staff, MLB, friends and family for my lack of judgement (sic)," Abad said in a statement issued through his agent, Brian Mejia. "I have never knowingly taken any substance to cheat the game in my 12 years of professional baseball."
Abad's suspension is retroactive to the beginning of the minor league season, and he is eligible to play starting June 30.
Garner, a 25-year-old right-hander, was 4-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 35 relief appearances last year for Double-A Tennessee and Iowa.
There have been 41 players suspended this year under the minor league drug program and eight under the big league drug program: Seattle All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo, Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read, Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley, Kansas City outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, Toronto pitcher Thomas Pannone and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.