Read is the first 40-man player for the Nationals to ever receive a PED suspension. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Nationals catching prospect Raudy Read has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Boldenone — a substance that is banned under the league’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Read is on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, so the suspension creates an unexpected vacancy for the Nats.

“This is a very serious matter — one that I do not take lightly,” said Nationals GM Mike Rizzo in a statement on the matter. “We educate players across our system on the program and set the expectation that they fully abide by it. I am deeply disappointed in Raudy. I have spoken with him directly and he understands that he is ultimately responsible for what he puts into his body. In the end, I hope he learns from this experience.”

Read issued a statement via the MLBPA and, like many before him, expressed confusion as to how a banned substance could have gotten into his system. The 24-year-old notes that he’s been tested dozens of times and passed seven different drug tests over the course of the 2017 season (Twitter link via the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes). As MLB.com’s Jamal Collier points out (also on Twitter), Read is the first 40-man player for the Nationals to ever receive a PED suspension.

The suspension is a blow to an already thin area of organizational depth for the Nationals. Read enjoyed a solid season in Double-A last year, hitting .265/.312/.455 with 17 homers through 442 plate appearances, and he ultimately made his MLB debut late in the season. While he’s behind both Matt Wieters and Pedro Severino on the current depth chart (to say nothing of recent minor league signee Miguel Montero), Read certainly had a chance to reach the Majors and make an impact in 2018. ESPN’s Keith Law recently ranked him 14th among Nats farmhands, praising his power and plus arm behind the plate.

The Nationals, of course, have already been tied to catching upgrades — most notably a pursuit of Marlins star J.T. Realmuto. While Read’s suspension isn’t likely to push them to radically accelerate their efforts to acquire a significant upgrade, his absence could theoretically push the Nats to add some depth at the position. Read’s absence from camp will enhance Montero’s chances of making the club, though it seems that Severino could have an edge in that race given the fact that he’s out of minor league options.

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul Heyman says Brock Lesnar could still return to UFC

Report: NBA considering play-in tourney for final playoff teams

Giannis Antetokounmpo has no interest in playing in L.A.

Michael Vick on Lamar Jackson: He's a 'spitting image' of me

Report: Tension between Love, teammates began last season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roberto Luongo gives emotional speech about school shooting

Report: Dolphins could look to release or trade Ndamukong Suh

Michael Porter Jr. cleared for basketball activities

Tebow: NFL teams still offer him chance to play other positions

Report: Cowboys could be an ‘unexpected’ suitor for Cousins

Kyrie found out Cavs talked trading him in ‘sloppy’ meeting

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

One weakness each contender must fix before NBA Playoffs

10 breakout stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

25 best MLB players under 25

A.J. McCarron might be the best consolation prize in free agency

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

Offseason needs for every NFL team

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

The 'All muscle hamsters go to heaven' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker