NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons were suspended yesterday for the first 15 days of next season for violating baseball's drug policy, an indication how the sport might treat players named in the Mitchell steroids investigation.

Guillen and Gibbons were accused in media reports of receiving human-growth hormone after January 2005, when it was banned by baseball.

Gary Matthews Jr., Rick Ankiel, Troy Glaus and Scott Schoeneweis also were linked to HGH, but baseball decided there was "insufficient evidence" to determine they committed a doping violation. They were accused of receiving performance-enhancing drugs before 2005.

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was hired by baseball commissioner Bud Selig in March 2006 to investigate drugs in baseball, and his report is to be released by the end of the month.

Guillen instructed the players association to file a grievance, which would be decided by an arbitrator. Gibbons will not challenge his penalty.

Earlier in the day, Guillen and Kansas City finalized their $36 million, 3-year contract.

"We signed Jose knowing that was a possibility," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said of the free-agent outfielder. "While my initial reaction is one of disappointment, I am thoroughly convinced that Jose will put this behind him and we collectively support him as he begins a new chapter in his baseball life."

Gibbons accepted responsibility and apologized.

"I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that I have made. I have no excuses and bare sole responsibility for my decisions," the Baltimore outfielder said.

The 15-day penalties match what a second offense would have drawn under 2003-04 rules. Current rules call for a 50-game suspension for a first offense, a 100-game penalty for a second and a lifetime ban for a third. *