NEW YORK -- Despite Jordany Valdespin's 50-game suspension for violations of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the Mets have no immediate plans to release the utility player.
"I don't think that we've even thought about that issue at this point," general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday, a day after MLB announced Valdespin's punishment. "He's been suspended for 50 games, as has Cesar Puello, and at some point between now and the end of that suspension, we'll have had those conversations. But certainly we haven't considered that at this point."
MLB on Monday suspended both Valdespin and Puello for their connections to Biogenesis, a former anti-aging clinic in Florida linked to performance-enhancing substances.
For Puello, a top outfield prospect, the punishment is not necessarily a death sentence for his career. But Valdespin finds himself on shakier ground, considering his lengthy disciplinary history and poor production on the field; he is a career .219 hitter with a .271 on-base percentage, while advanced defensive metrics peg him as a liability at most positions. But with Valdespin's suspension running almost through the end of September, the Mets have little incentive to decide his fate right now.
Some members of the organization did not even learn of Valdespin's suspension until Sunday evening, though Alderson indicated that the Mets were not completely blindsided by the news.
"We were aware of it before yesterday," the GM said. "Let's put it that way."
But that did not make Valdespin's suspension any less disappointing to the Mets.
"Certainly we're all saddened by the fact that both Jordany and Cesar made a mistake, because they both have talent," manager Terry Collins said. "In Jordany's case, to be honest, he's got skills that a lot of them are off the charts. He's got power that a guy his size you wouldn't think has. He can run. He's got a good arm. He's just got to slow the game down. He gets caught up and he's an emotional guy."
Both Valdespin and Puello are represented by ACES, along with the majority of Major League players publicly linked to Biogenesis. But just as David Wright stood by ACES agents Sam and Seth Levinson this winter, several Mets players reaffirmed their commitment to the agency in spite of its Biogenesis connections.
"I get the good fortune of knowing what's actually going on," second baseman Daniel Murphy said of ACES, which also represents Mets players John Buck and Bobby Parnell. "Sam and Seth Levinson have been nothing but good to me. I trust them fully for my career. They speak for me. And I'm honored to be a part of ACES."