The Brewers and Rangers make a trade

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It ain’t Kenny Lofton for David Justice and Marquis Grissom, but a spring training trade is always fun.  Today’s version: the Rangers trade infielder Ray Olmedo to the Brewers for catcher Matt Treanor.

Matt Treanor is a backup catcher who can’t hit, and his presence in Texas is significant only insofar as (a) he’s, like, the fifth catcher the Rangers have traded for since everyone was talking about how much catching depth they had at the beginning of last year; and (b) he’s married to one half of what has been called “the greatest beach volleyball team of all time.”  Misty May-Treanor once played volleyball with President Bush, who is the former owner of the Rangers, so I’m guessing the wheels started turning on this deal 15 years ago or so.

Olmedo is notable for being waived and outrighted to the minors more times than he has professional hits (estimated). Also: someone updated his Wikipedia page with this trade within five minutes of it being announced on Twitter, which means he probably has a very dedicated stalker out there somewhere, lurking.

Programming note: Given the heat this news is generating in blogosphere, it may take me a while to write the “What they’re saying about the Treanor-Olmedo” post.  I mean, a man can only process so much analysis so fast.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

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Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. DOJ has settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” and AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.