And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 12, Orioles 3: Five years ago last night Texas laid 30 runs on the Orioles. Not so bad last night, but still pretty ugly. Adrian Beltre smacked three dingers and drove in five. Sadly, Tommy Hunter was only allowed to give up a solo homer, two-run homer and a grand slam, falling just short of the cycle of homers allowed.

Braves 5, Nationals 1: Kris Medlen was once again fantastic, throwing seven shutout innings and striking out seven. All the Braves do when Medlen pitch is win. And Craig Kimbrel was actually used. In a non-save situation! See, it can be done!

Mariners 3, Indians 1: Seattle is on fire. Eight in a row for the M’s. A two-run double by Eric Thames broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth.

Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 0: Young pitching was featured in both games. In the first, Jacob Turner made his first start for the Marlins. Meanwhile, Tyler Skaggs made his major league debut for Arizona. Skaggs got the win, allowing two runs in six and two-thirds, even while walking five. Turner: three runs on four hits over six. Although one was a two-run bomb. And Ozzie Guillen got ejected either arguing what he thought was a balk or throwing water on umpire Angel Campos. Depends on who you believe. In the nightcap rookie Wade Miley tossed eight shutout innings.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Ryan Braun hit his league-leading 34th homer. John Axford, newly re-installed as the Brewers closer, got the save.

Padres 4, Pirates 2: San Diego got three quick runs off James McDonald to start the game and that was all the really needed. McDonald as an ERA of 7.30 since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh has lost four of five.

Athletics 5, Twins 1: Coco Crisp homered, hit an RBI double and scored three times. I’m gonna assume that this was merely a case of the A’s rallying following Bartolo Colon’s positive drug test. Which someone will claim with a straight face today. Just you wait.

Rays 5, Royals 3: James Shields was strong and the Rays have are 16-5 in their last 21 games. The Royals scored five runs in the three-game series.

Reds 3, Phillies 2: Bronson Arroyo came out on fire, retiring the first 14 Phillies he faced before Domonic Brown hit a solo homer in the fifth. That’s all the Phillies would get until the ninth, though, when Aroldis Chapman allowed an inherited runner to score. But too little, too late.

Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: The good Anibal Sanchez showed up. Helped that he faced the recently reeling Jays offense. Sanchez pitched six and two thirds, giving up one earned run.

Rockies 5, Mets 2: Matt Harvey pitched six strong and left with the game tied, but then the bullpen happened. Dexter Fowler left the game with a sprained ankle, though x-rays were negative. Like totally negative. HIS ANKLE IS COMPLETELY MISSING. Someone call Jim Rockford!

Angels 7, Red Sox 3: Jered Weaver rebounds from his shellacking by the Rays to tame the Sox (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Clay Buchholz? Not so much (5.1 IP, 12 H, 7 ER). Bad news, though: Albert Pujols left the game early with tightness in his calf.

White Sox 2, Yankees 1: Chris Sale was a beast, striking out 13 in seven and two-thirds as the Sox sweep the Yankees, dropping New York’s division lead to three games.  The Yankees had best take advantage of their upcoming series against the Indians and Blue Jays, because then they have Tampa Bay in the now suddenly interesting AL East race.

Cardinals 4, Astros 2: Kyle Lohse outduels Bud Norris. That’s six losses in a row for Houston. So I guess that managerial change hasn’t helped much yet, huh?

Giants 8, Dodgers 4: The sweep. Clearly rallying around Melky or something. Matt Cain allowing one run over seven had a lot to do with it too. As did Joaquin Arias driving in five via a homer and two RBI doubles.

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.