Dodgers reliever George Sherrill goes unclaimed on waivers

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As expected, George Sherrill has cleared waivers after the Dodgers made him available to any team willing to absorb the rest of his $4.5 million salary.
For now he remains in the Dodgers’ bullpen, allowing one run in two-thirds of an inning yesterday, but they’re free to remove him from the 40-man roster and demote him to the minors. Sherrill can refuse the minor-league assignment, but doing so would mean forfeiting about $2 million and … well, that’s not going to happen.
Acquired from the Orioles just before last season’s trade deadline for prospects Josh Bell and Steve Johnson, he posted a 0.65 ERA in 27.2 innings down the stretch for the Dodgers.
However, he struggled in the playoffs, allowing four runs in 4.1 innings while walking four and uncorking three wild pitches, and the 33-year-old left-hander has a 7.48 ERA and ugly 12/17 K/BB ratio in 21.2 innings this season.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.

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Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.