And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 2, Yankees 0: Yu Darvish finally arrives. Eight and a third innings, ten strikeouts and a big goose egg in the runs column against the best offense in baseball.

Rays 5, Angels 0: David Price: five-hit shutout. Albert Pujols: 0 for 4. He has the lowest slugging percentage of anyone in last night’s Angels lineup with the exception of Peter Bourjos.

Mariners 7, Tigers 4: Sometimes Max Scherzer is good, sometimes he’s bad and rarely is he anything in between. This was a bad night: five runs on ten hits in five innings. Michael Saunders had a couple of RBI doubles for the M’s. Meanwhile, while the box score shows no errors for Brandon Inge, Kurt from SB Nation felt it necessary to depict his play at second base thusly.  Which says a lot about how the Tigers blogosphere feels about Brandon Inge.

Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1: Matt Wieters hit a homer that was made possible thanks to the glove of outfielder Eric Thames. As in, the ball bounced off Thames’ glove and over the fence. Thames hit his own homer the inning before, so I suppose this made it even.

Reds 9, Giants 2: Matt Cain proves somewhat mortal, but what put this game out of reach was the bullpen “help” from Dan Otero, who gave up six runs on six hits in an inning and two-thirds. Meanwhile, Matt Latos shuts San Francisco out over the course of seven innings. Three RBI for Brandon Phillips.

Pirates 5, Rockies 4: When Jim Tracy’s Rockies meet Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, I like to pretend that the two of them — each of whom once managed for the other team — were traded for one another. Straight-up challenge trade, like, in the middle of the season. Manager had to fly in before game time, get his new jersey and just get out there.  In other news, Jamie Moyer — whose first ever appearance against the Pirates came when the now nearly 63 year-old Rick Reuchel was on the team — left with a 2-1 lead after six strong innings but the pen couldn’t hold it.

Mets 2, Marlins 1: Jose Reyes returns to New York and goes 0 for 4. So much for that drama. More important here were the performances of Johan Santana and Josh Johnson, each of whom are trying to show the world that they’re truly healthy and an be aces again. On this night they were: Santana struck out 11 in six and two thirds while giving up only one and Johnson struck out nine and gave up one over the same distance.

Indians 4, Royals 3: Derek Lowe: one run on eight hits over six innings. Jonathan Sanchez: 115 pitches and he couldn’t even go five. Uglyville, U.S.A. as the Royals drop their 12th straight.

Red Sox 11, Twins 2: The Sox break out the bats. Six guys in the lineup had at least two hits. David Ortiz drove in three. Mike Aviles went 4 for 5 with a homer. Josh Beckett allowed two runs over six.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2: The second 3-2 loss in a row for St. Louis. Alfonso Soriano drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the 10th. It maybe shouldn’t have happened, though, as Tony Campana — who scored the winning run — maybe shoulda been called out at second when he stole it earlier in the inning. Silver lining for the Cardinals: Adam Wainwright finally pitched well (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 7K).

Brewers 9, Astros 6: A five-run sixth inning capped by a Rickie Weeks homer. Corey Hart, Travis Ishikawa and Carlos Gomez also homered. Milwaukee has beat Houston 11 straight times.

Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 5: I guess Hunter Pence’s shoulder is OK: he hit a two-run homer, sparking the Philly offense to its best day in over a week.

Athletics 2, White Sox 0: Tommy Milone shut the Chisox out over eight innings, besting Gavin Floyd in a pitcher’s duel and stopping the Sox’ winning streak at four.

Braves 4, Dodgers 3: Martin Prado only had one hit, but it was a biggie: an RBI triple in the ninth to break a 3-3 tie. He drove in another earlier in the game on a groundout. Atlanta also scored on a wild pitch.  Chipper Jones had a homer too. On his 40th birthday. He always hits on his birthday: for his career his is 21 for 49 with five homers on April 24th and the Braves are 11-2.

Nationals 3, Padres 1: So far the Gio Gonzalez deal is feeling pretty good for Washington. He allowed only two hits in six shutout innings, running his scoreless innings streak to 20.

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.