Major League Baseball and its players association are currently discussing the possibility of stiffer penalties for violating the league's rules regarding performance enhancing drugs.
According to a report on Tuesday from Fox Sports baseball writer Jon Morosi, the two sides are currently in the midst of their annual review of the Joint Drug Agreement, which went into effect after the 2011 season and will expire Dec. 1, 2016, the same end-date as the current collective bargaining agreement.
Sweeping changes to the agreement aren't expected, according to Morosi, but it is believed that both sides are looking at a number of small reforms, which would include changes to the penalty scale for those who violate the league's PED policy. The current rules dictate a 50-game suspension for the first PED offense, a 100-game suspension for the second violation and a lifetime ban -- with the right to apply for reinstatement after one year -- if a player is found to have committed the offense a third time.
For use of banned stimulants, such as amphetamines, the scale is a bit less harsh: a first offense is met with follow-up testing; a second offense results in a 25-game suspension; a third offense will bring an 80-game suspension; and four or more violations will result in a lifetime ban that's subject to arbitration. VERDUCCI: Enjoy that title, Seattle -- Mariners still have lots of questions