San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for testosterone. Cabrera, in the midst of a career season with the first place Giants, was the winner of this year’s All-Star Game MVP.

Having already played 117 games this season, Cabrera will miss all 45 games remaining in the regular season. If the team is able to make the playoffs, he’ll miss the first five games before being eligible to play once again.

Near the end of July, rumors began circulating of a failed drug test, but Cabrera was adamant in denying the accuracy of such speculation.

It’s possible that a test had came back positive at that time, but the player appealed the original decision, and is only now being suspended after losing out on the appeals process.

This could be thought of as more than merely interesting side note in that it allowed San Francisco the time to acquire Hunter Pence prior to the trade deadline, a move that now softens the blow of Cabrera’s departure. However, the truth of the matter is that while the front office would have heard of the rumor at the same time that we did, they wouldn’t have learned of an impending suspension. The Giants were only notified earlier today.

The ramifications of the positive test are resounding for Cabrera, who had recently seen his negotiations on a contract extension with San Francisco come to a stand still. A free agent at season’s end, he’ll present a very interesting case for off season buyers, and the Giants themselves.

Also of note is that Cabrera currently sits second in the National League’s batting title with a .346 average after 501 plate appearances. That number is significant because one more PA is the cutoff to ensure that he qualifies for the end of season honor. Typically, the league would merely credit him with an out for any number of plate appearances he’s short of qualifying.

On a more personal level, this totally ruins my plans for a Melkman Hallowe’en costume.

Photo courtesy of Big League Stew.

If there is a bright side for Giants fans, and I’m admittedly trying really, really hard here, it’s that there won’t be any worries of vote splitting for the MVP award between Cabrera and Buster Posey.

Cabrera has released the following statement:

My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.