MLB’s players and owners move closer to labor agreement

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While the NBA lockout rolls into day 136, Major League Baseball’s players and owners are moving closer and closer to reaching a new labor deal.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the two sides have a “near-agreement” on draft-related issues, thought to be the last remaining significant hurdle in the ongoing negotiations.

There will not be hard-slotting, but the new deal is expected to carry restraints on the amount of total money a team can spend on draft picks from year to year. There will also be “significant changes” in draft-pick compensation for free agents, according to Rosenthal, meaning the Type A and Type B classifications might be restructured or completely dismissed.

An agreement must be reached by December 11. The way talks are going, it could be done this week.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.