Diamondbacks release Russell Branyan to make room for Micah Owings

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The Diamondbacks released Russell Branyan following last night’s win over the Twins. The move clears room on the roster for Saturday’s starter Micah Owings.

Branyan, who was signed to a minor league deal in February, began the season in a timeshare with Juan Miranda at first base, but his playing time dropped off considerably this month. The veteran slugger batted .210/.290/.339 with one home run and two RBI over 69 plate appearances during his time with the D-Backs. Things didn’t work out in Arizona, but he shouldn’t have a tough time finding a new opportunity.

Owings will replace Armando Galarraga in the starting rotation, who was designated for assignment earlier this week. The 28-year-old was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2005 and posted a 4.97 ERA over two seasons with the club before being traded to the Reds in 2008 as part of the Adam Dunn deal. He had a 4.85 ERA and 27/9 K/BB ratio over his first seven starts with Triple-A Reno this season.

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.