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Taylor Teagarden Suspended 80 Games: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2016

Chicago Cubs' Taylor Teagarden hits the game-winning RBI single off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman to drive in Anthony Rizzo in the eighth inning in the second game of a baseball doubeheader in Cincinnati, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The Cubs won 6-5. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Major League Baseball reportedly suspended veteran catcher Taylor Teagarden for 80 games Friday.

T.J. Quinn of ESPN passed along the news and noted Teagarden was the only athlete caught on tape in Al Jazeera's documentary on performance-enhancing drugs in December.

Teagarden, 32, is a free agent. He appeared in eight games for the Chicago Cubs last season, picking up three hits in 15 at-bats. He's also spent time with the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets during his career.

In January, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com noted the catcher appeared on an undercover video in the Al Jazeera report discussing PED use and being worried about a drug test. The situation caught Cubs President Theo Epstein off guard.

"Completely surprised," Epstein said. "I don't know anything about it other than what I've heard about the report. I don't want to try a guy from afar, but if the allegations are true it's really disappointing."

MLB previously announced it was working alongside the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the NFL to investigate the claims the documentary made. Christian Red of the New York Daily News passed along comments from Dan Halem, MLB's chief legal officer, about the effort.

"USADA has expressed a willingness to work with us, which we are very happy about, and hopefully we make some progress," Halem said. "We treat all things with a sense of urgency."

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A.J. Perez of USA Today reported Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals, who were also named in the report, filed defamation lawsuits against Al Jazeera America in federal court.

Teagarden, a career .202 hitter with 21 home runs in 180 games, has remained on the market since entering free agency in November.

The suspension will make it more difficult for him to find a landing spot with the 2016 season set to get underway Sunday. It's unclear whether he plans to appeal the punishment.

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