Scott Boras proposes posting fees for minor leaguers

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Ken Rosenthal passes on a bright idea from Scott Boras: a minor league posting system:

Each team would protect a set number of players: 40, the current number, or maybe even 45. Every other player in a club’s farm system would be available through a blind posting process similar to the arrangement baseball maintains with Japanese clubs.

In Boras’ vision: A prospect-rich team such as the Royals could sell off unprotected young players in return for money they could redirect toward free major-league agents. A club deep in young pitchers, but not position players, could use the process to create more balance, selling one type of player and buying another. If a team preferred to keep a player another club wanted, it would match the posting price and send the money back the other way.

I agree with Rosenthal’s assessment: interesting, but there just isn’t the kind of talent off of 40-man rosters to justify creating that kind of system. I mean, sure, ideally each team is totally aware of all of the talent available or potentially available, but if you get into posting all of the minor leaguers, teams will have to put a hell of a lot more money and effort into tracking these guys. I just don’t see how the reward will outweigh the necessary cash outlay.

Also, given what we’ve seen from some teams in terms of hording cash and going low-money on amateur signings, I don’t think we want to create any system under which a team can sell off young talent like this. What are the odds that the money gained on posting fees would be plowed into free agency? Pretty low in some cities, I imagine.

Fun, but no thanks.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.