Free agent Heath Bell expects to re-sign with the Padres

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While packing up his locker yesterday impending free agent Heath Bell told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that he expects to re-sign with the Padres this offseason:

It’s one of those things that hopefully the front office and my agent can do something. But I’m not worried about that. In my head, I’m not done.

San Diego opted against cashing in Bell for prospects at the trade deadline, choosing instead to take compensatory draft picks for the closer if he signs elsewhere as a free agent. To do that they’ll have to offer Bell arbitration and there’s an outside chance the 34-year-old right-hander will accept, locking the two sides into a one-year deal for around $9 million.

More likely is that if the Padres want to keep Bell they’ll have to outbid everyone for him on the market and it’ll be interesting to see if general manager Jed Hoyer wants to commit to a 34-year-old closer at a premium salary for multiple seasons. Bell may have to take less than the maximum possible contract to remain in San Diego.

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.