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MLB, union reach deal for HGH test

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and the players union agreed to testing for human growth hormone on Thursday.

The deal specifies tests for the performance-enhancing substance during the offseason and spring training but during the regular season only if there is a reasonable cause. Both sides said they will study regular-season testing.

Any player who tests positive will be banned from the following All-Star Game. And random tests will be increased to an undisclosed number.

The agreement comes as part of a larger settlement dealing with the case of Brewers LF Ryan Braun. Braun, last season's MVP, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for an undisclosed performance-enhancer. But the suspension was overturned by an arbitrator.

Shyam Das, since fired by MLB, ruled the urine sample was handled improperly because the drug collector kept it at home from Oct. 1, a Saturday, until the following Monday, when he took it to a FedEx office for shipment to a lab. The drug policy stated the sample was to have been delivered immediately "absent unusual circumstances."

The new deal says "unusual circumstances" include bad weather, personal emergency, traffic accident or the inability to reach FedEx before it closes.

Astros, top pick agree

HOUSTON — SS Carlos Correa, the top overall pick in Monday's draft, and the Astros agreed to a contract that includes a signing bonus of $4.8 million.

It's the lowest bonus for a top pick since the Royals gave RHP Luke Hochevar $3.5 million in 2006, and it's $3.2 million less than what the Pirates gave RHP Gerrit Cole last year. This is the first draft under the new collective bargaining agreement, which heavily restrains spending.

Correa, 17, will return to Puerto Rico to graduate from high school this weekend before joining the rookie Gulf Coast League on Tuesday.

More signings: The Royals gave RHP Kyle Zimmer, the No. 5 pick out of the University of San Francisco, a $3 million signing bonus. … The Braves gave RHP Lucas Sims, the No. 21 pick out of Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood High, a $1.65 million signing bonus. He had orally committed to Clemson.

Lasorda released: Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda left a New York hospital three days after suffering a mild heart attack. The Dodgers said Lasorda, 84, will spend a few more days in New York, where he was attending the draft, before returning to Los Angeles.

Braves: X-rays on 1B Freddie Freeman's left index finger were negative, and he is day to day. He was hurt trying to break up a double play Wednesday.

Brewers: 3B Aramis Ramirez, who had been out since Saturday with a strained left quadriceps, appeared as a pinch-hitter and was walked intentionally.

Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia went on the DL with a strained left shoulder two days after lasting two innings in a start. To take his spot, RHP Fernando Salas was called up from Triple A. He had a team-high 24 saves last year but was demoted after going 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA in 18 games.

Mets: LF Jason Bay, who was supposed to play after being out since April 23 with a broken rib, instead sat because he felt ill. He told he believes he had an adverse reaction to an antibiotic for a sinus infection.

Nationals: RH reliever Brad Lidge, out 38 games with an abdominal injury, was activated, and RH reliever Henry Rodriguez went on the DL with a strained right index finger.

Rangers: LHP Derek Holland went on the DL with a fatigued left shoulder. RHP Alexi Ogando, a starter until this year, will take his spot in the rotation.

Yankees: RH reliever Joba Chamberlain tweeted he will throw off a mound today for the first time since dislocating his right ankle while jumping on a trampoline in March. But manager Joe Girardi said he was unaware of any plans. … RH reliever Freddy Garcia went on the bereavement list for the death of his grandfather.

MLB, union reach deal for HGH test 06/07/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:47pm]
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