Report: Braves on verge of acquiring Derrek Lee from Cubs

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According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com the Braves are close to trading for Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, who will reportedly agree to the move despite using his no-trade rights to turn down a proposal to join the Angels last month.
Whereas the Angels were hovering around .500 and barely clinging to contention at the time Lee rejected that trade the Braves are in first place with the NL’s second-best record at 70-47.
Lee is an impending free agent and has recently been sidelined by a back injury, so Kaplan reports that “the trade is not expected to land the Cubs much in the way of talent” in return. Instead the Braves are apparently willing to absorb most of his remaining salary.
Lee has hit just .251/.335/.416 in 109 games this season for his first sub-.800 OPS since 1999, but even that would be an upgrade over the non-existent production the Braves have gotten at first base recently from the slumping Troy Glaus and Lee has hit .315/.359/.542 with six homers and nine doubles over the past 30 games.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.