Angels have discussed trade for Tigers starter Rick Porcello

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The Angels beefed up their offense in a big way this week, signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million free agent contract. Now they’re looking to further address their starting rotation needs.

According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, Anaheim’s decision-makers have “been in contact” with the Tigers about a potential trade for right-handed starter Rick Porcello. Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos would seem to fit as a trade piece, but Knobler says that particular swap is not close to happening because the Halos would much rather move Kendrys Morales.

Morales, strictly a designated hitter and first baseman, obviously isn’t a fit in Detroit.

Porcello posted a 4.59 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 107/44 K/BB ratio in 176 1/3 innings this past summer for the Tigers. The 23-year-old former first-round pick owns a 4.55 career ERA through four MLB seasons.

The Padres and Pirates have also been mentioned as possible landing spots for Porcello.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.