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SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres signed shortstop Ronny Cedeno to a minor league contract Saturday because All-Star Everth Cabrera is facing a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball as part of its investigation of the Biogenesis drug clinic.
"He was signed for that possibility, yes," general manager Josh Byrnes said.
Cedeno was scheduled to be in the lineup for Double-A Lake Elsinore on Saturday night.
Cabrera is among 14 players facing discipline in MLB's Biogenesis probe, and suspensions are expected Monday. The Padres are off Monday and begin a two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
The switch-hitting Cabrera leads the NL with 37 stolen bases. Last year, he led the NL with a career-high 44. He's hitting .285 with four homers and 29 RBIs.
"I think from Josh's standpoint that we have to make sure that we're covered," manager Bud Black said. "I think I've heard other managers echo this and other GMs. We don't know for sure really what's going to happen. But in case that happens, by the signing of Cedeno that gives us some coverage at shortstop if needed."
The 30-year-old Cedeno, recently released by the Houston Astros, was hitting .220 with one homer and 12 RBIs. He struck out 42 times in 141 at-bats.
Besides the Astros, Cedeno also has played for the Chicago Cubs, Seattle, Pittsburgh and the New York Mets.