It looks like the Pirates have suffered their second sting.
Before the 2017 Major League Baseball season began, the Pittsburgh Pirates were faced with the legal issues surrounding infielder Jung-ho Kang. Last year, the Korean star was accused of sexual assault during the season. Then, he was involved in multiple DUIs in his home country.
Government officials in Korea have detained Kang. And while he is dealing with his legal issues, his visa to enter the United States is being withheld. Thus, the Bucs will most likely have to play the entire 2017 season without the services of Kang.
Now, the Pirates have lost a second player for the remainder of the 2017 campaign. But the absence of center fielder Starling Marte will sting much worse. On April 18, Marte was suspended by the league office for violating the performance enhancing drug policy. Marte tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, resulting in an 80-game suspension.
If Pittsburgh can play themselves into a postseason spot, it will be without Marte as the suspension includes the playoffs. Marte will also lose $2.5 million in wages. Starling Marte was due to make a base salary of $2,814,207 this season and was awarded a signing bonus of $333,333. His current contract runs through 2021, and his base salaries will grow each season until the final year—which sees him make $12,500,000.
PEDs simply do not make sense. Why take them? Before the abuse of PEDs began, there were tons of players who relied on their own birth-given talents and natural abilities to succeed. It’s not as if Starling Marte is a superstar but apparently, he must have thought using nandrolone was going to put him on the next level.
Now the question for Clint Hurdle is: “Do I move Andrew McCutchen back to center?” Early indications are that he’s going to do just that. In the meantime, perhaps we’ll learn more about the reasoning behind Marte’s usage.
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