Zack Greinke didn’t violate his contract by playing basketball

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When I saw that Zack Greinke’s broken rib came playing pickup basketball, my first thought was “man, that dude just cost himself some money.”  Tom Haudricourt reports, however, that the Brewers don’t agree:

[Doug] Melvin said Greinke did not violate his contract by playing a game of pick-up basketball, which is how he was injured near the start of camp.

“The contract stipulates against playing ‘competitive’ basketball,” said Melvin. “They don’t want you playing in men’s leagues or things like that. If he had suffered a severe injury playing in a men’s league, there probably would be repercussions with his salary.

It’s been a while since I played basketball, but in my experience unsupervised pickup basketball was always way more physical than organized leagues. I mean, you never hear “no blood, no foul” during intermural games down at the rec center. Depending on what gym, park or playground you’re hitting for a pickup game, however, you could be taking your life in your hands.

But hey, a contract is a contract. And I bet that future baseball contracts take out or at least redefine that “competitive” language in the future.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.