Baseball Insider

Melky may not be off the hook at 50 games, as MLB weighs options

With the bizarre, hare-brained fake website scheme to avoid a 50-game penalty, Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera may actually have set himself for further punishment by Major League Baseball.

MLB will weigh whether to add to Cabrera's 50-game ban after he and his handler were caught creating a phony website and just-as-phony supplement in a fradulent attempt to avoid penalty after he failed an MLB drug test for testosterone.

"All options are in play with this situation,'' a source said regarding the question as to whether Cabrera could receive an additional penalty for trying to perpetrate a hoax on MLB.

The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Cabrera made a case through his representatives that he unwittingly bought a tainted substance after he was found to have failed for synthetic testosterone.

The players union made a presentation to MLB after consulting with Cabrera's representatives, Seth and Sam Levinson. The News quoted the Levinsons as saying the website was the brainchild of Juan Nunez, who worked for the Levinsons' company ACES (the Levinson called him a "paid consultant'' in the article, apparently suggesting he is something less than an full-fledged employee), and that they were not aware the site was phony when they made the case to MLB. Nunez also claimed to the News that he acted alone in the website scheme.

Even if Cabrera had somehow proved he ingested the PED inadvertently, it's not clear he would have beaten the 50-game rap. but of course, that's not how it happened, anyway.

MLB quickly discovered the website was a fake, causing the Levinsons and Cabrera to reverse course and accept the 50-game ban that is necessitated by such a PED failure, which will take him through the final 45 games of this season, plus five games of the postseason if the Giants make it or five of the 2013 season if they don't.

There is no set penalty for trying to perpetrate a fraud on MLB, but commissioner Bud Selig would appear to have leeway in his decision.

Cabrera is due to become a free agent after the year.

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