Call it an interesting first day for the San Diego Padres' No. 1 battery.
On the first full day of spring training workouts in Peoria, Ariz., the Padres signed their top winner, Clayton Richard, while their top catcher, Yasmani Grandal, was apologizing to teammates for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Richard, 29, was the team's last arbitration-eligible player. After going 14-14 with a 3.99 earned run average for the fourth-place team in 2012, Richard had been asking $5.5 million. He settled for $5.24 million.
Grandal, who secured the catching position as a rookie by batting .297 with eight homers, 36 runs batted in and an impressive .394 on-base percentage in 60 games, was busted after the season for testing positive for testosterone.
The 23-year-old was suspended by Major League Baseball for the first 50 games of the season and will be eligible to return on May 28. Lately his name has been linked to the investigation into an anti-aging clinic in Miami that was allegedly supplying PEDs to major leaguers.
Grandal apologized to teammates Saturday behind locked doors, then issued this statement:
"Last November, I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted my punishment of a 50-game suspension. I have taken full responsibility for my actions and apologized to my teammates, the fans and the San Diego Padres organization. I plan to put that mistake behind me, serve my suspension and continue working hard to be the best player and teammate I can be.
"I am aware of the various press reports about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and that Major League Baseball and others are investigating those allegations. I intend to cooperate fully in their investigations. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations. Based on that legal advice, I will have no further comment.
"Again, I realize that I made a big mistake and I very much look forward to returning to the field.”
Player reaction Saturday was that Grandal was emotional and appeared sincere, and most seemed accepting.
Former University of Miami and current Padre teammate Yonder Alonso told the press: "Yaz is a really good guy who made a big mistake. It's done and over. We have to move forward from here. He's a good teammate."
Outfielder Will Venable noted, "He handled it well. He said what he needed to say and it sounded very sincere. We want and need him to be part of this team."
Manager Bud Black said the apology was "a first step, part of what he needs to do."