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Angels sign Dustin Richardson to minor league deal

The former Red Sox lefty, who tested positive for five banned substances in 2012, no longer faces a 50-game suspension.


The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed left-handed pitcher Dustin Richardson to a minor league deal, sources have confirmed to Richardson, 29, has spent the season with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League and will be assigned to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Although Richardson was suspended for 50 games in 2012 after violating Major League Baseball's drug policy, the suspension was lifted within the last three months after Richardson complied with the league and spent the last year and a half outside of affiliated baseball, according to a source. If he is called up by the Angels, he would be eligible to appear in major league action immediately.

In six appearances (one start) with the Skeeters on the season, Richardson has posted a 1.03 ERA in 8.2 innings of work. He also spent last season with Sugar Land, and was 1-0 with a 4.33 ERA in 27 innings on the year.

A fifth round pick of the Red Sox in the 2006 draft, Richardson ascended quickly through the minor leagues before making his major league debut in 2009 and pitching in three games that season. He made 26 appearances out of the big league bullpen in 2010, and has a 3.31 ERA and 6.6 K/9 ratio in 16.1 career major league innings.

Following the 2010 season, Richardson was traded to the Marlins in exchange for lefty Andrew Miller, who has established himself as a key piece in Boston's bullpen over the past two seasons. After spending the first part of the 2011 season with Triple-A New Orleans, Richardson was claimed off waivers by the Braves and spent the remainder of the year with Triple-A Gwinnett.

In January 2012, Richardson was released by the Braves, and the league announced two weeks later that he had been suspended for violating the drug policy by testing positive for five different banned substances: amphetamine, Letrozole and metabolite, Methandienone metabolite, Methenelone and metabolite, and Trenbolone and metabolite.

With his career in doubt, Richardson decided to pitch for the Skeeters over the past two seasons and his success has earned him another shot at contributing to a major league team. He heads to Salt Lake in hopes of putting his tainted past behind him and being able to break into the majors once again.