Report: Yu Darvish likely to be posted after Winter Meetings

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish is likely to be posted for MLB teams following the Winter Meetings.

We’ve heard some uncertainty on the matter recently, though a source told Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi late last week that it remains “more likely than not” that he will pitch in MLB next season.

Darvish, 25, went 18-7 with a career-low 1.44 ERA and a 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings this season with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 185 pounds, he has a 1.99 career ERA over seven seasons in Japan.

While his posting fee might not approach the $51,111,111 sum the Red Sox bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka five years ago, the number still figures to be pretty substantial. And once exclusive negotiating rights are secured, it’s likely he will want an annual salary north of $10 million.

It will be interesting to see how this process affects the plans of teams at the Winter Meetings next week, especially those involved in the pursuit of C.J. Wilson. As Rosenthal notes, Rangers GM Jon Daniels and Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos both scouted Darvish in Japan this season. And though the Red Sox may be a little shy following Dice-K, Bobby Valentine’s experience in Japan can’t be ruled out, either.

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.