The Nationals are “trying hard” for Ryan Dempster

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The Dodgers are still thought to be in conversations with the Cubs over Ryan Dempster, but Jon Heyman says that the Nationals are “trying hard” for him too.

Heyman says the Braves and the Tigers are in the mix too. Dempster is scheduled to start tonight, setting up the possibility for one of the more dramatic trade-related things there are: the 11th hour scratch-as-harbinger of a trade.

Look, it’s dramatic relatively speaking, ok? I realize all of this trade nonsense is total nerfherder stuff.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.