Yoenis Cespedes granted visitor’s visa, meets with Marlins

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Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, who was finally declared a free agent by MLB two weeks ago, has been granted a visitor’s visa and is in Miami meeting with the Marlins.

Marlins president David Samson said recently that they hoped to give Cespedes a tour of the new ballpark in Miami, but Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that it’s unclear if the 26-year-old outfielder plans to meet with other teams while visiting from the Dominican Republic.

Samson revealed that the Marlins are “are aggressively negotiating a contract” with Cespedes, who ceased playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic after an ugly 10-game stint that had many wondering why he’d risk lowering his value by participating. Cespedes’ agent, Adam Katz, said last week that he plans to sign with a team in time to report for spring training.

Scott Feldman underwent season-ending knee surgery

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The Reds announced on Tuesday that starter Scott Feldman underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list with knee inflammation on Friday.

Feldman, 34, made 21 starts this season, posting a 4.77 ERA with a 93/35 K/BB ratio in 111 1/3 innings. He’s a free agent after the season but may have to settle for a minor league deal going into 2018 given his age and recent injury woes.

MLB to implement code of conduct for fans next year

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Following an embarrassing scene at Fenway Park earlier this year in which Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was taunted with racial slurs and had peanuts thrown at him, Major League Baseball will implement a universal code of conduct for fans at major league ballparks starting next season, ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports.

MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said, “We are working with the clubs on security and fan conduct initiatives at all of our ballparks. We will be issuing a league-wide fan code of conduct for the 2018 season.”

As Lauber notes, every team has its own code of conduct but some are more thorough than others. The Red Sox added “hate speech” to their code of conduct after the Jones incident and Major League Baseball, unsurprisingly, wants to make sure fans at every ballpark are clear on what behaviors will and will not be tolerated.

Since the Jones incident, Major League Baseball has been encouraging teams to be more inclusive, though Kennedy clarified that “there’s not been any directive or mandate.”