Marlon Byrd's 50-game suspension for use of a banned substance was supposed to be without pay (otherwise suspensions would be awesome). However, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, Byrd, thanks to the timing of his release from the Red Sox, will continue to draw a paycheck during his forced absence.
That's because Boston released Byrd prior to his suspension, which means his salary at that point became termination pay. And that means, under the terms of MLB's drug policy, Byrd's original contract for 2012 ($6.1 million from the Cubs and $400,000 from the Red Sox) is considered fulfilled and thus payment of said contract can't be interrupted. Yes, it's a "fine print" kind of thing, but those are the rules to which both sides agreed.
It's one thing to get caught using PEDs while simulataneously being good at baseball, but the smart player gets busted only after playing his way off the team. That way the suspension affords increased leisure time without an accompanying loss of income.
Well played, Mr. Byrd.