And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 6, Rays 2: Wait, I thought the Yankees’ season was over and everything was doomed, so how does this happen? Two homers for A-Rod, and a two-for-three night for Jorge Posada, who will probably now stick in the seventh spot in the order for a while because, hey, no drama. But since apocalypses apparently aren’t proceeding as planned, I suppose I can make reservations for dinner Saturday night without worrying about anything crazy happening.

Cardinals 2, Phillies 1: Danys Baez loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth of a 1-1 game and was yanked for J.C. Romero who promptly gave up a walkoff RBI single to Lance Berkman. Fact is, though, that Charlie Manuel has nothing to work with in those situations. There’s no one there, short of using Halladay out of the pen, who you can really count on to get strikeouts in those kinds of situations. And of course, the fact that the Phillies are in those situations have an awful lot to do with the fact that their offense is in a coma, but that’s well-covered territory by now.

Braves 3, Astros 1: Hit it up yesterday. And I can’t wait to see if it’s Yadier Molina, Buster Posey or Geovany Soto who gets more votes for the All-Star Game than Brian McCann. The Brian McCann whose feats yesterday put him in pretty rare company.

Rockies 5, Giants 3: The AP game story calls the Rockies’ three best players the “Big Os — Ubaldo, CarGo and Tulo.”  We really doin’ that?  Anyway, those three all came up big and put the Rockies back on top in the NL West by a half game.

Reds 7, Cubs 5: All of the Reds runs were unearned. And you think Mike Quade was mad after Monday’s game? Here was his quote after this one: “If we haven’t hit rock bottom, we’re pretty damn close.”

White Sox 4, Rangers 3: Texas blew a 3-0 lead and then the winning run scored on a wild pitch.

Indians 7, Royals 3: Well, I guess compared to Monday night this was an improvement, but still, the second-to-worst pitching staff in the AL is not doing anything to stop the best offense in the AL.  Not that this should be a terrible surprise.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 0: Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in the first and the rest of the game was mere detail.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 1: “[Eric] Patterson was called out on appeal by third-base umpire Joe West for leaving the bag early, though replays appeared to show Patterson on the base when Upton caught the ball.”  Joe West screwed up a call? Now I’ve seen everything.

Atheltics 14, Angels 0: There was a brief time a couple of years ago in which I kept writing Gio Gonzalez’ name when I was referring to Vin Mazzaro and vice-versa.  I guess confusing that now would be rather silly. Gonzalez shut out the Angels on one hit over seven and the offense asploded. Four RBI for Mark Ellis.

Twins 2, Mariners 1: Francisco Liriano pitches his second best game of the year (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9K), out dueling Felix Hernandez who had another one of his had-to-be-perfect-but-wasn’t losses.

Marlins vs. Mets; Orioles vs. Red Sox; Pirates vs. Nationals, Blue Jays vs. Tigers: POSTPONED: I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’. I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest. Where the people are many and their hands are all empty. Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters. Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison. Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden. Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten. Where black is the color, where none is the number. And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it. And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it. Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’. But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’. And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard … It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

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Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.