UPDATE: Oliver Perez moved to the bullpen

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Bad Ollie.jpgUPDATE: Perez has been moved to the bullpen, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Kevin Burkhardt of SNY.tv reports that Manuel has yet to name a replacement, but logic dictates that it would be left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. If not, the Mets would need to make a roster move should they choose to pluck R.A. Dickey or Dillon Gee from the minor leagues.

9:01 AM: Mets manager Jerry Manuel wouldn’t come right out and say it, but it would appear Oliver Perez is on his way out of the rotation after his latest implosion against the Marlins on Friday night (quote via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com).

“I’m concerned with the outings that we’re getting,” Manuel said. “The
last two outings, I have to be concerned with. We have to entertain some
different things.”

Perez was trounced for seven runs over just 3 1/3 innings against the Marlins, tying a career-high by giving up four home runs. He served up three home runs in the fourth inning alone.

The left-hander now has a 5.94 ERA and 1.92 WHIP over his first seven starts, compiling an ugly 27/28 K/BB ratio. Even worse, Perez is 3-7 with a 6.52 ERA and a 89/86 K/BB ratio since signing a three-year, $36 million contract with the Mets following the 2008 season.

So, yes, Perez is likely on the way out of the rotation, but the Mets would need his permission before they send him to the minor leagues. And so, with Scott Boras in tow, there’s a good chance Perez joins Jeff Suppan as one of the game’s most overpriced mop-up men.

Regardless of where Perez goes from here, the most likely candidate to replace him in the rotation is Hisanori Takahashi. The 35-year-old southpaw has a 2.74 ERA over his first 14 major league appearances, compiling an impressive 29/10 K/BB ratio over 23 innings.

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. The DOJ 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,” an 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 to 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.