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Melky to face additional scrutiny this season


DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Melky Cabrera will find himself under a microscope this season following last year's positive test for a banned substance.

Cabrera received a 50-game suspension while still a member of the Giants, but the punishment for his misdeeds doesn't stop there. Players are typically only subjected to random drug tests, but Cabrera is guaranteed to receive much tighter scrutiny.

"Everybody is in every single [drug-trusting] draw," said Michael Weiner, who is the executive director of the MLB Players' Association. "There is separate testing for reasonable cause, where a player will get tested more; there is what we call follow-up testing for players who have tested positive.

"A player who has tested positive previously will have six additional tests besides his random tests. Melky Cabrera, because he tested positive last year, has, over the course of this season, six follow-up tests that will be scheduled at random. In addition to that, Melky will have whatever random tests that come up as part of the program."

Weiner was in Dunedin on Monday morning for his annual meeting with the Blue Jays' players. He uses the opportunity to clarify questions regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement while going over topics such as drug testing, free-agent compensation and the current economics in baseball.

The 51-year-old Weiner also provided reporters with another explanation behind Toronto's busy offseason. The Blue Jays drastically increased their payroll during the offseason, and while the league's upcoming television contract has been tabbed as a primary factor, Weiner also had another theory.

Weiner pointed to the market-disqualification provision contained within the recent CBA as the big reason why Toronto has increased its salary by almost 50 percent in just one offseason.

"Large markets -- and Toronto is objectively considered to be a large market -- have their revenue sharing phased out through the course of the basic agreement," Weiner said. "Toronto has received substantial revenue sharing over the last few years, and as this agreement goes, if their revenue doesn't increase, they won't.

"Put differently, as Toronto increases its revenue, they don't pay any tax on it. They don't lose in revenue sharing, so there's a great incentive for these market disqualification teams to increase their revenues. By all projections, the Blue Jays will be looking at a large increase in revenue over the course of 2013 and beyond. That's a great thing for Toronto and for baseball in Canada."

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