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Cincinnati Reds top prospect Noelvi Marté suspended 80 games by MLB for positive drug test

 WBN  |    Mar 8th, 2024 4:56pm EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Noelvi Marté, a 22-year-old infielder who is the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect, was suspended for the first 80 games of the season on Friday following a positive test under Major League Baseball’s drug program.

Marté tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone, triggering the first suspension under the big league program since Milwaukee right-hander J.C. Mejía was banned for 162 games on Sept. 20 for a positive test for Stanozolol. Mejía’s suspension was his second under the program.

Marté was expected to be the Reds’ starting third baseman this season, joining Cincinnati’s core of young players that includes Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

The suspension is without pay. Marté’s salary this season was likely to be just above the $740,000 minimum.

Marté signed with Seattle from the Dominican Republic for a $1.55 million bonus in July 2018. He was traded to the Reds in July 2022 along with three other prospects for All-Star right-hander Luis Castillo.

Marté made his major league debut last Aug. 19 and hit .316 with three homers, 15 RBIs and six stolen bases in 35 games. He batted .279 with 20 doubles, 11 homers, 45 RBIs and 18 steals over three minor league levels last year.

Four players have been disciplined this year under the minor league program.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb