Sources: Deal voided after failed test

Updated: January 26, 2010, 10:38 PM ET
By Jorge Arangure Jr. | ESPN The Magazine

The San Francisco Giants voided the contract of a top Dominican prospect after he failed a team-administered drug test, multiple sources told ESPN The Magazine.

Duanel Jones, a 16-year-old third base prospect, had signed with the Giants in December for $1.3 million. Soon after Jones had agreed to terms, the Giants administered a drug test, which Jones failed. Under the current system, the Giants are allowed to void the contract if a prospect fails a drug test even after the player has signed.

As of now Jones has not been suspended by Major League Baseball, though a source close to the situation said that MLB has begun investigating the situation. If MLB finds that San Francisco's drug test meets MLB standards and if Jones tested positive for a substance banned by baseball, then it's likely that Jones would be suspended for 50 games.

Jones is still eligible to sign with a team at any point. But if he's suspended, he must serve that suspension at the beginning of the season for the minor league team to which he's assigned.

Jones has been described by some evaluators as a big, strong third baseman with good power and an above-average arm.

Baseball America on Monday first reported Jones' deal had been voided but did not specify a reason.

Jones becomes the second top Dominican prospect to have failed a drug test after agreeing to terms. Last year, New York Yankees signee Damian Arredondo was suspended 50 games for violating the drug policy. The Yankees had previously voided Arredondo's contract after it was learned he had also been using a false identity.

Jorge Arangure Jr. is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.