Potent quotabes: Lidge is puzzled

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“It’s puzzling.
It doesn’t mean that it’s crazy, because this is baseball. The ball’s
not bouncing the right way. Last year, it bounced the right way every
time.”




– With Brad Lidge’s latest implosion against the Braves on Saturday,
he became the fifth player since 1954 to have a loss, blown save and
two errors in one game. Wow. By the way, if you are into crazy
statistics like this,
follow STATS LLC on Twitter.

“I sent him a
letter over there to tell him best wishes, get well soon and I hope to
see him back out there. I just wanted to go up there and see for myself
if he was doing OK or if I could hear anything about him talking or
just to show that I care about people. You don’t want to see that
happen to anyone. It was just unfortunate.”




– Rusty Ryal after a line drive off his bat hit Hiroki Kuroda in the head on Saturday night. Fortunately, Kuroda never lost consciousness and a CT scan came back negative.



“With 48 hours to go, I simply have no idea whether we’re going to be able to reach a deal.”



– Nationals president Stan Kasten as the clock continues to tick with No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg.



“I have two things, try and get hitters out and make a good throw. The
rest is out of my hands. That’s some of the best throws I can make.
They might not be good enough.”




– Jason Varitek, after the Rangers ran roughshod over him for eight stolen bases on Saturday night.
The Red Sox have allowed 118 steals this season by far the most in the
majors — the White Sox are second with 101 allowed. David Pinto of Baseball Musings has a pretty good argument why this might not matter.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

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Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.