Aaron Harang (foot) unlikely to return before All-Star break

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Aaron Harang threw a bullpen session yesterday as he recovers from a foot injury, but manager Bud Black told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that the right-hander is unlikely to rejoin the Padres’ rotation before the All-Star break.

Harang provided a nice return on the Padres’ modest $4 million offseason investment by throwing 80 innings with a 3.71 ERA and 55/25 K/BB ratio before being placed on the disabled list three weeks ago, posting a 7-2 record after going 18-38 in his final three seasons with the Reds.

Harang told Hayes that he’s “itching to get back” but also understands why the Padres would play it safe in an effort to get him at full strength for the second half, when they may look to trade him to a contender in need of some short-term rotation help. He’s under contract for $3.5 million year, with a $5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012.

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.