Cleveland Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, the second failed drug test of his career. The 38-year-old previously tested positive for Tamoxifen in 2012 and was suspended for 50 games as a result. In 2014, Byrd admitted that he was taking a generic version Tamoxifen as a way to "reduce the excess tissue in his breasts."
With this being Byrd's second suspension due to PED use, he will be suspended for a full 162 games. This effectively ends his career as a member of the Indians and potentially his career as a whole, unless someone is looking for a half-season of a 39-year-old outfielder in 2017.
News of Byrd's suspension was first reported by Cleveland's Scene Magazine, which cited an anonymous source in their claim. Ken Rosenthal later confirmed the report via his own anonymous source.
The Indians signed Byrd to a minor league deal prior to the season to serve as a potential platoon partner in right field for Lonnie Chisenhall. So far this season he has had his ups and downs but carries a respectable .270/.326/.452 slash line and five home runs. His 0.9 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement is good for fifth on the Indians through 50 games. Just two days ago he had his biggest game as a member of the Indians, going 4-for-4 with a home run.
Another Indians outfielder, Abraham Almonte, is currently serving an 80-game suspension for taking a steroid known as Boldenone. He still has 30 days left on that suspension.
With Byrd and Almonte both serving suspensions and Michael Brantley still on the disabled list, that leaves just Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis as the only two dedicated outfielders on the 25-man roster. Jose Ramirez has been playing a good chunk of left field lately, and Michael Martinez can fill up some space in the outfield if needed. However, a move if obviously going to be made, even if it just a call-up. The Indians have corner outfielders Joey Butler and Collin Cowgill and center fielder Tyler Naquin in Triple-A and already on the 40-man roster.
The Indians are expected to officially announce the suspension with a press conference this afternoon.