And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 6, Red Sox 3; Rays 5, Yankees 2:  Tied. The details sort of don’t matter anymore. All you need to know is that the City of Boston now has permission to vomit. Continuously. Through Wednesday.

Phillies 4, Braves 2: The Braves are just a lousy team right now in every facet of the game. And you know what? I’ve gotten to the point where my love of chaos has overtaken my devotion to the Braves. On one level this sucks. On another level, this is kind of fantastic in some sick and twisted way.

Astros 5, Cardinals 4: But even if the Braves are lousy, the Cardinals still have to capitalize on their lousiness. And they didn’t. Depending on Octavio Dotel to give you two quality innings is the sort of thing that leads to that. Dotel gave up a leadoff double to Brian Bogusevic and then committed an error on Jason Bourgeois‘ sacrifice attempt and couldn’t field a subsequent bunt from Angel Sanchez.

Rangers 4, Angels 3: A lot of people gave me crap yesterday for not including the Angels in posts about the AL wild card. Well, sorry. Now they’re eliminated, however, so I guess it didn’t matter.

Tigers 14, Indians 0: Doug Fister vs. Ubaldo Jimenez in the battle of the mid-season pickups. Advantage: Fister. Eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Oh, and the 14 runs on 18 hits didn’t hurt.

Reds 6, Mets 5: I’m not gonna say this game was an exercise in going through the motions, but the Reds and Mets combined to use 34 players.

White Sox 4, Blues Jays 3: Ozzie Guillen was released from his contract as soon as this game ended. When reached for comment, Guillen said “#$&%!” Glad to see he stayed true to form until the end.

Royals 7, Twins 3: Melky Cabrera notched his 200th hit of the season in this one. In other news, the word has gone completely and utterly insane and we’ll all be lucky to survive the damn week.

Giants 3, Rockies 1: Seven shutout innings for Ryan Vogelsong, capping off a pretty doggone good year for him. He went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA and absolutely no one, except maybe Vogelsong himself, expected it.

Padres 2, Cubs 0: My brother and his co-workers were at this game. The tickets were a reward from their manager at In-N-Out Burger for meeting some summer sales goal. He called me from the ballpark before the game and read the Cubs’ lineup to me.  I told him you get what you pay for. Mat Latos wasn’t impressed with them either (7 IP, 2 H, o ER, 9K).

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Justin Smoak’s three-run homer broke the tie in the sixth and held up.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2: Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer which kept him in the lead in that category and extended his RBI lead, but an overall 1 for 4 night pretty much ends his triple crown hopes.

Pirates 9, Brewers 8: And though it was in a loss, Ryan Braun’s pinch hit RBI double allows him to keep whatever small buffer he has over Kemp in the MVP race. I’m a Kemp man, but my sense of it is that more people lean Braun anyway.

Nationals 6, Marlins 4: And we’re one more game closer to the end of them playing games in whatever it is the heck they call that monstrosity of a ballpark in Miami.

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.