Carlos Beltran slugs three two-run homers, Mets top Rockies

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Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran put a personal hurting on the Rockies’ pitching staff this evening at Denver’s Coors Field, slugging three two-run homers in a 9-5 victory.

It was the first three-homer game of Beltran’s career and only the eighth three-homer performance in Mets franchise history. Jose Reyes was the last to do it, back in mid-August of 2006.

Beltran got off to a bit of a slow start at the plate this season while continuing to build the strength of his surgically-repaired right knee. But he’s been scorching hot since the middle of April and entered Thursday’s action with a 1.075 OPS in the month of May. That number obviously rose again with today’s show of power.

Beltran now leads all Mets hittters with eight home runs. He also has 24 RBI and 20 extra-base hits.

The more he rakes, the higher his trade value will be come mid-summer. And it seems highly likely that the rebuilding Mets will try to get something for him before his contract expires at the end of the year.

SI.com’s Jon Heyman is already suggesting that the White Sox, A’s, Tigers and Red Sox will have interest.

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.