An MLBPA source has told the Associated Press that Scott Boras did not violate any union rules when his company made loans to client Edward Salcedo. Of course we knew this back in November.
The only person who didn’t seem to know this was the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt, who continued to push this story even after multiple analysis of the situation made it quite clear that no rules had been violated. It was referred to as a “scandal.” Many non-specific people were described as voicing non-specific “concern.” There was the obligatory “these allegations come at a time” sentence, which was used to cast the whole thing in a negative light despite there being no actual connection between the complained-of activity and the contemporaneous evil.
As I noted multiple times when the story first broke, the whole thing smelled like a hit job to me. It was helped along by quoted agents who would love nothing more than to see Boras taken down a peg and anonymous Major League Baseball sources who have a clear interest in painting amateur free agency in the Dominican Republic as an awful thing. And now it’s over. I eagerly await Schmidt’s report on the matter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.