The right-hander was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball on Friday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Clase was Cleveland’s biggest acquisition in the big, off-season trade that sent two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. The commissioner’s office said that Clase, 22, had tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid.
Clase was to play a major role in the back of the Indian relievers’ enclosure this season.
His suspension will not begin until the start of the 2020 regular season, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the season does not cover 80 games, the MLB and the players’ association are still determining whether a postponement will apply for 2021.
The regular season was scheduled to open on March 26.
The Indians said they were “disappointed” with the suspension of Clase.
“We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs from our game,” the team said in a statement. “We have been in contact with Emmanuel, and we will welcome him again once the discipline has been completed. “
The Indians sent Kluber, their team ace for the past five years, to Texas in December for outfielder Delino DeShields and Clase, whose fastball was timed at over 100 mph. Clase strained a shoulder muscle during spring training and did not appear in an exhibition match until the virus epidemic stopped baseball.
Clase returned to the Dominican Republic after the season was suspended.
He made his debut with the Rangers in August. Clase appeared in 21 games, dropping 2-3 with a BPM of 2.31. He had 21 hits in 23 1-3 innings.
Clase is expected to earn $ 564,800 this season.