Nolan Ryan predicts at least 90 wins for the Rangers this season

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Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that during an appearance at the Rangers’ Fan Fest today, team president Nolan Ryan predicted that the club will win between 90 to 95 games this season.

“I think we’re a better ballclub now than we were this time last year,” Ryan told ESPNDallas.com after talking with fans in a Q&A session. “We have more experience and a better overall club with the additions we’ve made this offseason and the young pitchers we have coming back.”

Don’t scoff at Ryan’s optimism. He predicted 92 wins for the Rangers last March and was on record saying that he expected an AL West championship. While they fell two wins short of his prediction, the club did win their first division title since 1999 and made the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Besides, we can always count on Ryan for endless entertainment, win or lose.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.