Some Dodgers may have peed in the Chase Field pool during their celebration

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Well, this certainly puts a new spin on the Dodgers-Dbacks rivalry, Swimming Pool-Gate and all of that. Anthony Jackson reports that maybe it was more than just fun and games going on at Chase Field on Thursday night:

. . . it has come to my attention that one of the Dodgers players who jumped in the pool — and I will do him the favor of leaving his name out of this for now — openly and loudly bragged after leaving the pool about having urinated in it … There also are indications that MULTIPLE Dodgers players urinated into the pool, but I can’t tell you that with any certainty. It’s just what I’ve heard.

This information has changed Jackson’s view of the little celebration from one in which it was fun and harmless to one in which it was sick and classless.

I can see that. I mean, I’m not all that interested in diving deep into the matter of whether or not someone peed in the pool, who it was, whether they are remorseful about it and all of the kind of handwringing that comes up about any weird, off-the-field matter of morals, ethics and taste, but I can see that.

For what it’s worth, I can muster some sharp thoughts about these matters for DUIs and PEDs and all manner of other things — I probably have a greater tolerance for it than most people — but I can’t go there for peeing in pools. I just can’t. At least not until we have a teary confession and an official statement from someone. Or maybe just some silly statements. If this spins silly, sure, I’ll be all over it, but I cant put on my serious/judgmental face for pee in a pool.

In other words: we’re gonna let this story mellow for a bit.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

Braves
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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.