Pirates acquire Ryan Ludwick from Padres for PTBNL or cash

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Ryan Ludwick was reportedly close to being traded to the Indians earlier this afternoon, but instead the Pirates have swooped in at the last minute to acquire the outfielder from the Padres for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

It’s tough to pass any sort of judgment on the trade without knowing the PTBNL’s identity, although the “or cash considerations” part certainly suggests it won’t be a noteworthy prospect heading San Diego’s way.

Even if the price tag was low the Pirates are betting on Ludwick turning things around following an extremely unproductive 160-game stretch with the Padres in which he hit just .228 with a .301 on-base percentage and .358 slugging percentage after being acquired from the Cardinals in the middle of last season.

In addition to Ludwick the Pirates also added another veteran right-handed hitter in Derrek Lee, who’s also struggled this year with a .246 batting average and .706 OPS in 85 games for the Orioles. So while the Pirates have brought in some experienced reinforcements for their first taste of contention in a long time, they did so without giving up any significant long-term building blocks and bet on second-half turnarounds instead.

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.