Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur believes most MLB players want the league to come down harder on those who test positive for performance enhancing drugs, he said on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast.
Francoeur, a 12-year MLB veteran, said that the current system for suspending players found to have used PEDs, which calls for an 80-game suspension for the first offense, is not enough of a deterrent.
“The system is flawed,” Francoeur said. “There’s no other way around it. Guys get docked 80 games (pay) or whatever it is. Yeah, that’s a lot of money. But if you sign a $60 million deal and you’re losing maybe $5 million, it’s worth it for a lot of these guys. It stinks because there are buddies of mine who were basically battling these guys for jobs. It's just unfair.
“I know a lot of guys that have been busted, and they’re good people. I like them a lot. But at the end of the day, they’re cheating the system.”
Francoeur went on to say he expects PED punishment to be a major topic of discussion for the MLB and the Players Association moving forward.
“We stand our ground on a lot of issues, whether it’s arbitration or free-agency rights. We fight hard for that as a union.” he said. “But you’re probably looking at 90% of players that want stiffer penalties on PEDs. I think we have to start listening to the majority of the players, and not the other way around.”
Twelve MLB players have been suspended in 2016, the biggest being 2015 All-Star and NL batting champion Dee Gordon.