It’s officially a battle royal among NL East teams for the services of free agent outfielder B.J. Upton.
Upton met with both the Phillies and Braves this week, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals have also engaged in some “initial dialogue” and are expected to have “increased communication” in the near future.
The Nationals might not move quickly on Upton, as they are currently trying to get some resolution on Adam LaRoche. If LaRoche signs elsewhere, the Nationals would have a clear need in their outfield since they would likely move Michael Morse from left field to first base. Of course, they could sign LaRoche and Upton, giving them the option to flip Morse in a trade.
Upton always figured to do well in free agency, but having three NL East teams involved is an ideal scenario for his eventual payday. Michael Bourn has been connected to the same teams and also figures to benefit.
OXON HILL, MD — Rays manager Kevin Cash got a good dig in on the Red Sox’ newest pitcher this morning.
Sale, as you likely remember, made headlines in July when he was suspended for five games and fined after shredding the White Sox’ 1977 throwback jerseys with a razor blade because he thought they were uncomfortable and didn’t want to wear them. The uniforms Sale destroyed cost the club $12,000.
Sale is with the Red Sox now, of course, and as a new division rival, Cash was asked to comment on Boston’s acquisition of the lefty. Here’s what he said:
Q. What was your first reaction yesterday when you saw or heard what Boston did?
CASH: No, it helped — our marketing department can now figure out when to do throwback jersey day, so we’re good.
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports the breakdown of the international signing limits each team is subject to under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. As you’ll recall, for the first time, teams are subject to a hard cap on the amount they can spend on such players.
While most reports of the new rules for international free agents talked about the cap as being “between $5-6 million,” in reality, the majority of teams will be subject to a cap of $4.75 million. Indeed, 16 of baseball’s 30 teams are limited to that number. Six others will have up to $5.25 million to spend and eight will have up to $5.75 million.
Only signings of players aged 25 and over who have six years or more of professional experience in, say, Japan or in Cuba, are exempt from the cap.