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Marlon Byrd Suspension: Positive Drug Test Puts Career in Jeopardy

ST. PETERSBURG - MAY 17:  Marlon Byrd #23 of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after his home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on May 17, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJune 25, 2012

Marlon Byrd's career could be cut short after he failed a drug test for the drug Tamoxifen. A 50-game suspension could result in teams staying away from the center fielder who has struggled of late.

According to the Boston Herald, Tamoxifen is "a performance-enhancing drug commonly used in the treatment of breast cancer."

Byrd had been struggling this season before being designated for assignment earlier this month. He is batting a poor .210 with one home run and nine RBI in 47 games this year.

Byrd has struggled to find a groove over the last few years. Since batting .293 with 12 home runs and 66 RBI in 2010, he has bounced around, failing to regain his old form.

In 2011 he batted just .276 with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 119 games. His 2012 season started slowly, as he hit 3-of-43 with the Cubs for an average of a minuscule .070 in the first 13 games of the season.

He was involved in an April trade with Boston before being released.

Now that he has been slapped with a 50-game suspension that runs until August 20, his career is in doubt. He could barely stay with a team before the issue, and now that he comes with baggage, it will be even harder to find a club that will sign him to more than just a minor league deal.

Byrd will be celebrating his 35th birthday just 10 days after his suspension ends. At 35-years-old, he will not be a valuable asset to teams, and his contract demands may be too high.

It looks like the player who once hit .307 with the Rangers in the 2007 season is gone, and this is the Marlon Byrd who is on a steep decline.

An aging Byrd certainly won't be warranting many suitors. Even if he can sign with a team, the odds of him making it back to the MLB after a minor league stint that he would clearly be assigned to are microscopic.

I believe that we've seen the end of Marlon Byrd, and to go out on a 50-game suspension does not do his career justice. It's sad to see it end this way.

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