Rangers land Marlins' Jorge Cantu for two right-handers

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Adding the right-handed bat they’ve wanted since the winter, the Rangers have acquired Jorge Cantu from the Marlins for right-handers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda.
After a fast start, Cantu had fallen all of the way to .259/.308/.408 for the Marlins. He had driven in 54 runs, but 23 of those came way back in April. By month, he had posted OPSs of 920, 701, 680 and 536. He also doesn’t exactly fit the bill as a lefty masher. In his career, he has a 790 OPS versus southpaws, as opposed to a 765 OPS against righties. He was at 720 against left-handers this year.
It makes one wonder if the Rangers wouldn’t have been better off with Mike Lowell instead.
Fortunately, they didn’t give up a whole lot in return. Reed is a 24-year-old reliever in Double-A. He had a 1.62 ERA for Frisco, but he doesn’t project as more than a sixth- and seventh-inning guy.
Poveda, 22, underwent Tommy John surgery back in February and won’t return until next year. His stock had fallen long before the procedure, and while there’s hope that the surgery will restore his lost promise, he’s just a lottery ticket right now.
There’s the chance Cantu could find his stroke for the Rangers and overtake Chris Davis as the regular first baseman, but there were better options available if Texas wanted someone to start over Davis. As is, he’ll mostly play versus lefties for now.

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.