And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Pirates 4, Brewers 3: Andrew McCutchen with a walkoff bomb in the 12th. John Axford surrendered the lead in the eighth. He’s got a nifty 9.20 ERA now.

Dodgers 2, Nationals 0: Clayton Kershaw stuck out 11 in eight and two-thirds shutout innings. He tossed 132 pitches: the most in his career and the most in baseball since Justin Verlander threw the same amount last August.

Padres 3, Orioles 2: Yesterday on a radio spot I did we talked about how automatic Jim Johnson has been, having converted 35 straight saves. Sorry for jinxing you, dude. The Padres rallied for two in the ninth giving Johnson his first blown save of the year, as Johnson couldn’t quite wriggle out of the jam he created for himself. Single, single, double play, HBP, single, single, blown save. Death by, well, four or five cuts.

Phillies 6, Indians 2: Jonathan Pettibone got to the bigs because of injuries but he’s staying there because he’s getting the job done. Two runs allowed in six and two thirds. A three for four night with three RBI for John Mayberry.

Yankees 4, Mariners 3: Felix Hernandez was cruising until he tweaked his back in the sixth and had to leave after allowing only one run. The Yankees capitalized, scoring three off Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush. CC Sabathia struck out ten. Allowed ten hits too. But he kept New York close, which was good enough last night.

Reds 6, Marlins 2: Homer Bailey went the distance, striking out ten. Ricky Nolasco, in contrast, walked two dudes with the bases loaded and just had a miserable night. But hey, it’s Miami.

Blue Jays 10, Giants 6: Melky Cabrera welcomed his former teammates with a 4 for 5, two RBI night. R.A. Dickey struck out ten in six innings. The Jays put up a six-spot in the first inning off Barry Zito and that was almost all she wrote.

Rockies 9, Cubs 4: Carlos Gonzalez went 5 for 5 with two homers. And he was — all together now — a triple shy of the cycle.

Tigers 6, Astros 2: Miguel Cabrera had a homer, but it came after the game was effectively decided. The night before he didn’t do much of anything as the Tigers routed Houston. Basically, the Tigers could be sending out a team full of Don Kellys and Andy Dirkseseseses and still be sweeping this series. Really, it’s like watching an exhibition series between the big club and Triple-A or something.

Cardinals 10, Mets 4: The Mets are … not good. Carlos Beltran is, though. He drove in four, reminding those in New York who still think he’s a bum that in fact he’s arguably a borderline Hall of Famer. John Gast pitched well for five innings before running into some trouble in the sixth. Still, impressive for the kid. Who, if he really takes off, we can start calling “The Great Gastby” or something. [dodges thrown fruit] or maybe not.

Rays 5, Red Sox 3: Matt Moore was smacked around for three runs in the first but then settled down and moved to 7-0 on the year. Six straight wins for the Rays.

Diamondbacks 2, Braves 0: This Patrick Corbin kid continues to impress, winning his sixth straight start to kick off the year despite walking five dudes. Double plays helped, as he had three turned behind him to get him out of jams. The Braves have lost four of five.

White Sox 4, Twins 2: Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo hit back to back homers. Jake Peavy was solid again. The Sox win despite two pretty clearly blown calls by umps, one at first base one at home.

Angels 6, Royals 2: I guess Jeremy Guthrie is mortal after all. The Angels tagged him for five runs on 11 hits in seven innings. Homers from Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. This is how it was supposed to go.

Rangers 6, Athletics 5: Two homers from Mitch Moreland, including one that helped ice it in the tenth inning. Adrian Beltre hit one in the tenth as well. Joe Nathan was shaky as all get-out in the bottom of the inning but finally nailed it down, needing 31 pitches to do so.

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.