Rodriguez, Mulvey are players to be named later

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Lots of “players to be named later” have been swapped recently and this afternoon two of them have actually been … well, named later.
* Sean Rodriguez joins Matt Sweeney and Alex Torres as the third prospect heading from the Angels to the Rays for Scott Kazmir. Rodriguez has split time between second base and shortstop in the minors while hitting .301/.398/.626 with 50 homers in 170 games at Triple-A.
Those numbers are inflated by a hitter-friendly environment and at 24 years old Rodriguez doesn’t project as a star, but he’s an MLB-ready infielder with good power and represents a nice pickup for Tampa Bay. He seemed destined to never get a great opportunity with the Angels, so the deal works out well for Rodriguez too.
* Kevin Mulvey was part of the big trade that sent Johan Santana from the Twins to the Mets, but now he’s headed to the Diamondbacks as the PTBNL for reliever Jon Rauch. Mulvey’s stock has dropped since the Santana deal, but at worst he’s an MLB-ready fifth starter and was one of the Twins’ top dozen prospects coming into the season.
Philip Humber has been dropped from the 40-man roster twice without being claimed off waivers and Mulvey is in Arizona, so Minnesota’s return for Santana basically now boils down to Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, and 1.25 seasons of Rauch. Not quite the haul Twins fans had in mind when all the juicy rumors were swirling two offseasons ago.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.