Joel Peralta ejected for pine tar, umpires confiscate glove

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Here’s something that doesn’t happen often.

Rays setup man Joel Peralta was ejected in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game in the nation’s capital after Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked the umpires to take a look at his glove.

The umps found a foreign substance (likely pine tar) and gave Peralta the boot while confiscating his mitt.

Peralta played for the Nationals in 2010, so the assumption is that a former teammate alerted Johnson to the right-hander’s against-policy tricks.

The Rays countered in the ninth inning, asking to see the hat of Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus. It was clean.

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UPDATE, 10:29 PM: Some postgame reaction to the incident …

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.