Major League Baseball reached a deal with its players' association to expand the drug-testing program to include in-season blood-testing for human growth hormone and a new test intended to detect players using testosterone,.
The testing increase vaults baseball's program ahead of the NFL's protocol, which doesn't include testing for HGH and doesn't have a similar testosterone test. The plan will further Commissioner Bud Selig's claims that his sport has the toughest testing program of any professional sport in North America.
The timing of the agreement comes a day after the announcement that first-time candidates Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, along with returnees Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire, were denied entrance to the Hall of Fame. All five have been linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, though only McGwire has confessed to knowingly using banned substances.
The new agreement establishes a new testing protocol for testosterone, a preferred substance because it quickly leaves a player's system after being used. Since July 2010, MLB has conducted random blood testing for HGH among minor-league players. As a part of the 2012-16 Basic Agreement, the sides agreed to blood testing for HGH during 2012 spring training, the offseason, and for reasonable cause. All of those aspects remain in place with the addition of in-season, unannounced, random blood testing.
--The Colorado Rockies signed Manny Corpas to a minor-league deal that included an invitation to spring training. The right-hander was the team's closer in 2007 during its World Series run. Corpas, 30, made 48 appearances for the Chicago Cubs last season, posting a 5.01 ERA in 46 2/3 innings.
--Right-hander Chris Resop and the Oakland A's agreed to a one-year, $1.35 million deal, avoiding arbitration. Oakland acquired Resop, 30, from the Pittsburgh Pirates in November in exchange for minor league right-hander Zach Thornton. In 2012, Resop earned $850,000 while going 1-4 with one save and a 3.91 ERA in 61 appearances.