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MLB: Cubs prospect Oscar De La Cruz gets 80-game drug suspension

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Oscar De La Cruz has been suspended 80 games under Major League Baseball’s drug program.

The commissioner’s office said Friday that the 23-year-old right-hander tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic and masking agent.

De La Cruz is 6-7 with a 5.24 ERA in 16 starts this season at Double-A Tennessee, and is considered among the Cubs’ top prospects. He is covered under the major league drug program because he is on the 40-man major league roster and is on option to Tennessee.

The Cubs say that while they are “disappointed” in De La Cruz, they “will support him on his journey back.”

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He is the ninth player suspended this year under the big league drug program. The others are Seattle All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo, Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read, Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley, Kansas City outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, Toronto pitcher Thomas Pannone and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.

There have been 46 players suspended this year under the minor league drug program.

Mariners give GM Jerry Dipoto multiyear contract extension

The Seattle Mariners have signed general manager Jerry Dipoto to a multiyear contract extension.

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The agreement announced Friday comes with the Mariners 24 games above .500, striving to make the postseason for the first time since 2001.

Dipoto is in his third full season with the Mariners, who are 56-32 and 1 game out of first place in the AL West. Since the start of the 2016 season, his first full year, the Mariners have the eighth-best record in the majors at 220-192. Seattle president and chief executive officer Kevin Mather says Dipoto has upgraded nearly every aspect of the overall baseball operation in his brief tenure.

All-Star Futures game to feature 15 former 1st-round picks

New York Mets prospect Peter Alonso and Cleveland’s Francisco Mejia are among the top minor leaguers selected for the 20th annual Futures Game.

The teams announced Friday include 15 former first-round draft picks for the game July 15 at Nationals Park.

The Dominican Republic leads the world roster with nine players. Missing is Toronto’s top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who’s out with a strained left knee.

Alonso began the season with Binghamton of the AA Eastern League before a promotion in June to Triple-A Las Vegas. The first baseman has 19 homers and 69 RBIs.

Mejia, a catcher/outfielder from the Dominican Republic, is batting .279 with seven homers and 42 RBIs for Triple-A Columbus. He had a 50-game hitting streak two years ago, the longest since the minors reorganized in 1963.

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The U.S. team will be managed by Torii Hunter. David Ortiz will handle the world team.


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