Mariners infielder Tim Beckham has been suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drug use, per an announcement from the MLB Commissioner’s Office on Tuesday. Beckham released a statement through the MLBPA accepting responsibility for his mistake but claiming that he took a tainted supplement:
Here's the official release on the Tim Beckham suspension pic.twitter.com/QiZNa3PFjd— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) August 6, 2019
The Major League Baseball Players Association is releasing the following statement on behalf of Tim Beckham: pic.twitter.com/lOVBtgkTgC— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) August 6, 2019
This is not the first drug suspension for Beckham, who received a 50-game ban in May 2012 after testing positive multiple times for a “drug of abuse.” But since it was not a PED suspension and players on 40-man rosters are not subject to penalties for recreational drug use, he’s being treated as a first-time offender with regards to the length of the suspension.
The 29-year-old Beckham, who was selected first overall by the Rays in 2008 MLB Draft, has had a generally disappointing career relative to his draft status, but he was having a solid season for the Mariners in his first year with the club. While seeing action at every infield position (primarily shortstop) as well as — for the first time in his career — left field, Beckham has posted a .237/.293/.461 slash line with 15 home runs.
Though Beckham only signed a one-year contract with the Mariners last winter, he still has one season of arbitration eligibility remaining since he was non-tendered by the Orioles following the 2018 season. Considering this embarrassing development, it’ll be interesting to see if the Mariners want to have him back in the fold next season.