Penny pinching Pirates drop closer Matt Capps

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Pittsburgh has spent months trying to trade closer Matt Capps, but after finding zero takers the Pirates decided to non-tender him rather than go to arbitration. Capps struggled mightily in 2009 and likely would have been awarded a salary in the neighborhood $3 million, but that’s hardly a budget-crippling number even for a small-payroll team and he posted a 3.06 ERA in 217.1 innings from 2005 to 2008.
Capps is unlikely to find another team willing to let him close, but a return to his pre-2009 effectiveness would make him a very solid setup man and given the Pirates’ history with such things they don’t figure to spend the freed up $3 million any better. For now at least Joel Hanrahan is the favorite for saves in Pittsburgh, but he struggled in that role for the Nationals, has a 4.74 career ERA, and is actually older than Capps.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.