Dodgers payroll to be unaffected during the MLB takeover

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We need a name for this thing. The Bud Protectorate?  Something Oliver Cromwell-ish seems to fit.  I’ll think about it.

Anyway, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has been told that his payroll will be unaffected while MLB runs the Dodgers and that things will be business as usual.  Which makes sense given that there are set commitments and sunk costs and stuff.

The real question will be what happens if the Dodgers contend and there is a competitive argument for increasing payroll in some way sometime this summer.  Major League Baseball allowed the Rangers to take on Cliff Lee last year, but at least then there was a new owner in the Greenberg/Ryan group waiting to step in and pay those expanded costs back to MLB.  It could still be a while for someone new to come on the scene in L.A.

In any event, Gurnick reports that Colletti has been contacted by two other GMs who have been through this before — Omar Minaya and Jon Daniels — who have given him encouragement and advice. Note to Ned: listen more to Jon on this one.  Trust me.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.