Teams offer arbitration to just 14 of 29 “Type A” free agents

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When offered arbitration Type B free agents allow their old team to pick up a draft pick between the first and second rounds, but because their new team doesn’t have to give up anything to sign them their market value isn’t impacted by whether or not the arbitration is offered.

However, with Type A free agents who’re offered arbitration their old team is in line to receive a draft pick between the first and second rounds plus their new team’s first-round pick.

In other words, Type A free agents who are offered arbitration cost a first-round draft pick to sign while Type A free agents not offered arbitration require no compensation, in many cases making their market value heavily dependent on the arbitration status.

All of which is why it’s interesting that just 14 out of the 29 free agents classified as Type A were offered arbitration yesterday, making the other 15 free to sign without compensation changing hands. Here are the complete lists …

Type A free agents offered arbitration:

Grant Balfour
Adrian Beltre
Carl Crawford
Jorge De La Rosa
Scott Downs
Adam Dunn
Frank Francisco
Jason Frasor
Paul Konerko
Cliff Lee
Victor Martinez
Carl Pavano
Rafael Soriano
Jayson Werth

Type A free agents not offered arbitration:

Vladimir Guerrero
Matt Guerrier
Derek Jeter
Derrek Lee
Bengie Molina
Magglio Ordonez
Andy Pettitte
A.J. Pierzynski
Manny Ramirez
Arthur Rhodes
Mariano Rivera
Takashi Saito
Miguel Tejada
Billy Wagner
Dan Wheeler

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. DOJ has 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,” and 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 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.