Dbacks' first round pick Barret Loux is a free agent

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The Diamondbacks selected pitcher Barret Loux sixth overall in this year’s draft, but backed out of signing him after a physical revealed a labrum
tear and elbow issues. My thinking had been that, with no deal in place, Loux would go back to college or wherever and next year someone else would take a chance at him, but that’s not the case: Major League Baseball is granting him free agency on September 1. I’m assuming someone will take a chance on him, injuries or no.

I’ve seen various people on Twitter in the past few minutes refer to this situation as a “bad precedent” or a “can of worms,” but I’m having a hard time seeing how that’s the case. Are people suggesting that players will now have an incentive to be injured and thus become free agents? Because that makes no sense. For teams to get out of having to pay first round picks via the manufacturing of injuries? That makes even less sense (why pick a guy to begin with if you don’t want to sign him). What am I missing here?

This seems like a situation where there is a legitimate disagreement about a player’s medical status and a team rather freaked out about said status. The Diamondbacks are, admittedly, being relieved of some risk. Loux is, possibly, getting a windfall due to early free agency.  There may have been no good solutions, but I’m not sure how this is a replicable situation that creates a dangerous precedent.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.