Major League veteran right-hander Kameron Loe and fellow free agent Terrell Joyce were handed 50-game suspensions on Thursday after testing positive for banned drugs.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said the pair each received 50-game suspensions without pay following their second positive tests for a drug of abuse. The suspensions will be effective immediately upon the players signing with another Major League organization.
Loe, 33, spent the 2014 season with three organizations, pitching for Kansas City, Atlanta and Arizona at Triple-A Omaha, Gwinnett and Reno, respectively. He went 1-2 with a 7.51 ERA in 38 1/3 innings over 25 outings. The right-hander was placed on Reno's disabled list on July 27 before being activated in late September and eventually released. He's seen action in 322 career Major League games since 2004 when he debuted with Texas but has not appeared in the bigs since 2013 with the Braves.
Joyce, 22, was the Astros' 12th-round pick out of Florida State College at Jacksonville in 2012 and has appeared in 183 games in the Minors for Rookie-level Greeneville, Class A Quad Cities and Short Season Tri-City. He spent all of last year with the ValleyCats, hitting .231 with 11 homers, 32 RBIs and a .309 on-base percentage in 53 New York-Penn League games.
Players are typically issued a warning following a first positive test for a drug of abuse and a suspension for a second offense. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates. Minor Leaguers who test positive for a performance-enhancing substance are subjected to an immediate 50-game suspension.
Major League Baseball has suspended three players for violating the Minor League drug program in 2015.