Deal sending Soriano to Rays is done

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UPDATE: The deal is now official. It’s 1-year, $7.25 million.
12-10-09, 12:21 P.M.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the trade sending Rafael Soriano from Atlanta to Tampa Bay is all but completed after the Rays worked out a one-year deal worth around $7 million with Soriano.
Tampa Bay wanted to get a contract finalized rather than risk going to arbitration with Soriano, because at that point his 2010 salary would be largely out of the Rays’ hands. Atlanta wanted to shed Soriano’s salary after he surprisingly accepted the Braves’ arbitration offer, and in doing so pick up a fairly generic middle reliever in Jesse Chavez.
While costly, Soriano is a huge addition to the Rays’ bullpen after saving 27 games with a 2.97 ERA, 102/27 K/BB ratio, and .194 opponents’ batting average over 75.2 innings in 2009. When healthy he’s among the most dominant pitchers in baseball and forms an excellent righty-lefty combo with J.P. Howell. Soriano figures to take over as the full-time closer after Howell led the team with just 17 saves and eight other Rays notched at least one. Very nice move for Tampa Bay.

Scott Feldman underwent season-ending knee surgery

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The Reds announced on Tuesday that starter Scott Feldman underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list with knee inflammation on Friday.

Feldman, 34, made 21 starts this season, posting a 4.77 ERA with a 93/35 K/BB ratio in 111 1/3 innings. He’s a free agent after the season but may have to settle for a minor league deal going into 2018 given his age and recent injury woes.

MLB to implement code of conduct for fans next year

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Following an embarrassing scene at Fenway Park earlier this year in which Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was taunted with racial slurs and had peanuts thrown at him, Major League Baseball will implement a universal code of conduct for fans at major league ballparks starting next season, ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports.

MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said, “We are working with the clubs on security and fan conduct initiatives at all of our ballparks. We will be issuing a league-wide fan code of conduct for the 2018 season.”

As Lauber notes, every team has its own code of conduct but some are more thorough than others. The Red Sox added “hate speech” to their code of conduct after the Jones incident and Major League Baseball, unsurprisingly, wants to make sure fans at every ballpark are clear on what behaviors will and will not be tolerated.

Since the Jones incident, Major League Baseball has been encouraging teams to be more inclusive, though Kennedy clarified that “there’s not been any directive or mandate.”