“I should have used the resources available to me to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took. I failed to do so,” Tatis said in his statement. “I have no excuse for my error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love.”
Padres General Manager A.J. Preller said he told Manager Bob Melvin the news after batting practice before Friday’s game. The two then delivered the news to the team. Melvin said the news was met with shock.
“We were hoping that from the offseason to now that there would be some maturity, and obviously with the news today, it’s more of a pattern and it’s something that we’ve got to dig a bit more into,” Preller said. “I’m sure he’s very disappointed. But at the end of the day, it’s one thing to say it. You’ve got to start showing by your actions.”
Tatis had yet to appear in a game this season because of a wrist injury he suffered in an offseason motorcycle accident. He will be ineligible to play for the Padres should they make the postseason. San Diego is 16 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West but would own the newly created third NL wild-card spot if the season ended Friday.
“We were surprised and extremely disappointed to learn today that Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Prevention and Treatment Program and subsequently received an 80-game suspension without pay,” the Padres said in a statement. “We fully support the Program and are hopeful that Fernando will learn from this experience.”
Melvin said he planned to speak with Tatis on Saturday and, after reading his statement, wanted his side of the story.
The league’s policy dictates that clubs are not notified of a player’s positive test until the day that player is set to be added to the restricted list, so the Padres did not know Tatis had tested positive when they engineered a franchise-altering deal to acquire Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline.
At the time, that deal looked like a splurge for a team soundly in contention with its young superstar, Tatis, preparing to return from injury for the stretch run. In hindsight, Soto and Josh Bell will replace much-needed production as the Padres try to make the long October run they and Preller have sought for most of the past decade.
“This is a blow for us and we’ll have to move on,” Melvin said. “I’m glad we made the moves we did over the deadline. We feel like we have a really good team still and sometimes you have to deal with some adversity.”
Now Soto and Bell will…