How the MLB suspensions will affect the MLB playoff race

By: Jon

Tomorrow, August 5, 2013, will be remembered as one of the best and worst days in MLB history. Bud Selig suspended twelve players for 50 games and one player for 211 games, I bet you could not guess this player. Although it will always be remembered because so many talented players were suspended for such a long time. Some of the influences already occurred during the trade deadline. However, some of these repercussions will affect future outcomes like free agency, teams chances of making the playoffs, and teams chances of winning the World Series.

Commissioner Bud Selig Courtesy of NY Daily News
Commissioner Bud Selig
Courtesy of NY Daily News

The Detroit Tigers were one of the teams affected by the Biogenesis saga because their starting shortstop, Jhonny Peralta, was suspended for the rest of the season. Although the loss of Peralta would not have affected their chances of making the playoffs, the Tigers will not have a solid bat at shortstop during their playoff run. The Detroit Tigers are 65-45 and hold a four game lead over the Cleveland Indians. ESPN predicts that the Tigers have a 95.1% chance of making the playoffs and I agree with the prediction. Jhonny Peralta was having a great year for the Detroit Tigers. Peralta is batting .309 with 11 HR and 54 RBI and was voted to his first All-Star Game this season. Since the Tigers are a win now team and have spent millions on their current team. The Tigers cold not go into the postseason with a bad shortstop, who has little talent. Since the Tigers did not have a replacement for Peralta, the Tigers were forced to give up one of their best prospects for Peralta’s replacement, Jose Iglesias. In a trade that netted the Red Sox Jake Peavy, the Tigers were forced to trade Avisail Garcia, a possible future All-Star. Besides for having to play a worse player on offense, the Tigers needed to forfeit one of their best prospects for Peralta’s replacement. The Tigers can blame Jhonny Perlta and the White Sox should thank Jhonny Peralta if Avisail Garcia fulfills his talent and becomes a future star for the next decade.

Jhonny Peralta
Jhonny Peralta

The Texas Rangers are another team that will be greatly affected by the Biogenesis suspensions. ¬†Besides for the Yankees, the Rangers are the team most affected by the suspensions. The Rangers lost Nelson Cruz, their starting right fielder, for the rest of the season. The loss of Nelson Cruz will be a huge loss for the Texas Rangers because he is a good hitter and a leader of the team. Nelson Cruz is the second best hitter on the team and the best power hitter on the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are two games behind the Oakland A’s and a half a game ahead of the Cleveland Indians for the second Wild Card position. However, unlike the Detroit Tigers, the Texas Rangers did not acquire a back up for the All-Star left fielder. The Texas Rangers will be forced to start Daniel Murphy at right field for the rest of the playoff race. Although Daniel Murphy is a solid fourth outfielder and a good pinch hitter, Murphy cannot be the starter at the corner outfield position for the playoff team. Daniel is currently batting .227 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI. Many people did not think favorably of the Rangers trade deadline activity because they did not acquire a solid outfielder who could play when Cruz was suspended. The Rangers have one of the deepest farm systems in MLB and could have spared a few prospects for a half a year rental. The Rangers could have traded for Hunter Pence and Alex Rios.

Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers

Nelson Cruz was one of the three All-Stars from this year to be suspended for the rest of the season. Unlike the other players, Cruz will be a free agent by the end of the season. The free agent class for the upcoming winter is abnormally weak, which will be great for the few good All-Stars. Nelson Cruz is one of the few All-Stars and was inline for a huge contract. Cruz is having the best season of his career. This year, Cruz is batting .269 with 27 HR and 76 RBI. Nelson Cruz could have received a deal for about $15 million per season over about three or four years. However, the recent steroid news will drop Cruz’s value during the offseason. Many owners and managers would not want to disrupt their team’s clubhouse. Many players have spoken out against steroid users and cheaters, which would create an awkward situation in the clubhouse with Nelson Cruz. Also, GMs and managers will wonder if Cruz can reestablish himself as a player without steroids. As seen in the case of Melky Cabrera, Cruz will probably not be given a long term deal because of the question marks and controversy that follows him.

Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz

The team that was and will be most effected by the Biogenesis suspensions was the New York Yankees. Besides for having the most players suspended, the media has been zeroed on the Yankees over the past months because of Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees future is largely uncertain because Alex Rodriguez will appeal his suspension. Although Alex Rodriguez’s suspension will probably be reduced, his suspension will probably last long into next season. As I wrote in my other piece, the Yankees will be given a lot of flexibility and they can sign new players this offseason. (If you are interested in that article just search my name in the search window) The Yankees will continue to be heavily covered by the media as long as Alex Rodriguez is on the field. During Rodriguez’s first game, the Yankees had the best rating of the season because everyone wanted to see A-Rod play. Continue reading our articles and keeping up with the situation because it will become increasingly juicy and capitative.

Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez

More pics and stats from ESPN.com

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