Pirates outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, the club announced Tuesday.
Marte, 28, is Pittsburgh’s staring centerfielder. He had previously played primarily in leftfield but moved to center this year after Andrew McCutchen was moved to right. Marte batted .241 with a .659 OPS in his first 13 games this season. He was an All-Star in 2016 for the first time in his career, leading the team with a .311 batting average and 47 stolen bases.
Marte was signed to a six-year, $31 million contract extension in 2014. The deal could be worth up to $53 million if Pittsburgh picks up its two club options at the end of the contract.
MLB’s policy on PEDs calls for an 80-game suspension for a first offense and 162 games for a second offense. A third offense will result in a lifetime ban.
Players who are suspended under the PED policy are ineligible to participate in that year’s postseason.