Rangers official says 3-team deal 'not happening'

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Various rumors have been swirling around today about a potential three-team trade that would supposedly send Kevin Millwood to the Mets, Luis Castillo to the Cubs, and Milton Bradley to the Rangers.
Even at first glance that seems like a “which one of these things doesn’t belong” test question, because while the Mets and Cubs would like nothing more than to dump Castillo and Bradley the Rangers have a whole lot less incentive to give up Millwood.
He’ll make $12 million in 2010, which is certainly pricey, but that’s the same amount the Mets still owe Castillo and Bradley is due $21 million over the next two years.
Millwood is likely to regress in 2010 because his secondary numbers weren’t nearly as good as his 3.67 ERA, but the notion of paying a decent mid-rotation starter $12 million for one year is downright appealing compared to Bradley or Castillo for two years.
Not surprisingly, when MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan actually asked a high-ranking Rangers official about the rumored swap, the response was simple: “Not happening.”
It’s possible that Texas may be open to reuniting with Bradley, who had the best season of his career with the Rangers in 2008, but there’s no reason for them to give up anything of value to make that happen and the idea that the Mets could deal a completely unwanted player in Castillo for a decent starting pitcher is awfully wishful thinking.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.