San Diego is one-stop shopping for contending teams in need of bullpen help, with closer Heath Bell and setup men Mike Adams and Chad Qualls rumored to be on the trading block.
Adams told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he applied for a passport at the suggestion of his agent in case he’s traded to an American League team and has to travel to Toronto.
And the 32-year-old right-hander also said he’s more worried about how his wife would handle a trade:
I think the main person it affects is probably my wife because of the uncertainty. And if we do have to leave, she’s the one who has to do all the work as far as packing up the family and moving alone.
Adams’ situation is particularly interesting because he’ll be the most desirable non-closer reliever being shopped prior to the July 31 trade deadline, but will take over as the Padres’ closer if he remains in San Diego and Bell is dealt. Depending on what happens he’s either a couple weeks from being on a new team or becoming much more well-known thanks to a role change with his old team.
Either way, with a 1.70 ERA, .177 opponents’ batting average, and 234 strikeouts in 212 career innings for the Padres he’s deserving of a lot more attention.
Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.
Now that lawsuit is over. The DOJ settled with AT&T last night.
The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” an AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.
When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.
As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.
An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not to file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.