Former star closer Valverde suspended 80 games for drugs

BY foxsports • August 14, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) Former star closer Jose Valverde has been suspended 80 games following a positive drug test in the minor leagues.

The commissioner's office announced the penalty Friday.

The 37-year-old Valverde hasn't pitched in the majors since 2014 with the New York Mets. He had 10 saves for Triple-A Syracuse this season before the Washington Nationals released him last month.

Valverde is a free agent and his ban will take effect if he signs with another big league organization.

Always animated on the mound, Valverde had 288 saves with Arizona, Houston, Detroit and the Mets. He was a three-time All-Star and three times led his league in saves.

Valverde was suspended under the minor league drug program after testing positive for a metabolite of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.

Cleveland minor league outfielder Luigi Rodriguez also was suspended 80 games after testing positive for the same substance as Valverde.

The 22-year-old Rodriguez hit .293 with 12 home runs, 49 RBIs and 24 stolen bases for Class A Lynchburg.