Marlon Byrds stock had fallen so far that the Cubs had to pay most of the roughly 6 million remaining on the final year of his contract when they traded him to the Boston Red Sox.
The deal was made in late April, or less than two years after Byrd made key plays that helped the National League win the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim, Calif.
The Cubs looked into the financial implications once Major League Baseball suspended Byrd for 50 games after testing positive for Tamoxifen, a performance-enhancing substance typically associated with breast cancer treatment, or masking potential side effects from steroid use. But the punishment isnt expected to impact their bottom line.
Im still trying to get to the bottom of the situation, general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. My initial sense right now is that it doesnt. Ill probably have more to say on that in a couple days once I know for sure. But it looks like (because) hes a released player, its termination pay, and therefore I dont think that either of the teams are going to save money based on the suspension.
Earlier this month, the Red Sox released the 34-year-old outfielder, who was guaranteed 6.5 million this season. Industry sources said that a wrinkle in the collective bargaining agreement means Byrds suspension will be based off the prorated veterans minimum salary. In essence, it will cost closer to 150,000 than 2 million.
Byrd released a statement through the Major League Baseball Players Association on Monday apologizing for an inexcusable mistake made to deal with a private medical condition. The free agent said he was mortified by his carelessness and hopeful to help a team after the suspension is lifted Aug. 20.
For years, the commissioners office suspiciously viewed Byrds working relationship with BALCO founder Victor Conte. In a text message, Byrd told USA TODAY that Victor had nothing to do with this.