SAN FRANCISCO -- A surprised Melky Cabrera categorically denied an Internet rumor that he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, saying neither he nor the Players' Association has received any such information from Major League Baseball.
Cabrera learned of the rumor from a team trainer, who asked if it was true. He immediately called his agent, who said the rumor was unfounded.
Cabrera said he was tested for performance-enhancing drugs last week.
Giants officials also said they had no knowledge of a positive test, although teams generally do not receive advance notice.
Cabrera said he had nothing to be worried about and credited his success to hard work. He speculated that perhaps a Dodgers fan created the rumor as a way to distract the club heading into the big, three-game series between the two rivals.
The rumor did not cite any source.
Andrew Baggerly on Twitter, on July 27th:
There's a rumor on Twitter that Melky Cabrera will be suspended for positive PED test. I asked Melky and he said it's totally untrue. Melky heard the rumor from one of the trainers. He called his agent and the union. They said it was unfounded. Said he was tested last week. Before MLB suspends a player, they inform him of a positive test and get a B sample. Specimen collectors are here today but Melky not tested.
I heard weeks back that positive test happened around All-Star break. Was hung up in appeals process.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) August 15, 2012
Quite a mess at the moment, although you may recall that Ryan Braun, last year's NL MVP, was caught with his hand in the PED cookie jar, escaped punishment by way of a chain-of-custody failure on MLB's part, and even though there's a high likelihood that he did use something that artifically aided his game (and got caught at an incredibly awkward time, to boot), nobody really seems to care much all of these many months later.
And I suspect something similar will happen with Melky, although this case is a more fascinating one to follow because, as Cameron notes above, Cabrera is a free agent this winter, and we'll see how teams decide to devalue his services (if at all) relative to what he was likely going to be paid before this news hit the wire.
Melky also won the ASG MVP, and has an outside shot at winning the NL batting title. Activate P.R. damage control robots!