A-Rod walks out on his own arbitration, calls it a “farce”

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As the old saying goes: when the facts are on your side argue the facts. When the law is on your side argue the law. When neither are on your side pound your fist on the table and scream.

Or, in the case of Alex Rodriguez, just walk out. Which is what he did today after the arbitrator refused to force Bud Selig to testify. A-Rod issued a statement: “I am disgusted with this abusive process. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”

As we noted last week, the idea of having Bud Selig testify was a crock to begin with. And thus walking out when he was not forced to testify is a crock too.  This is A-Rod treating his arbitration as theater. Refusing to argue the legitimate case he has in front of him — that MLB’s suspension of 211 games was too severe based on precedent — and instead trying to put all of Major League Baseball on trial. That was never going to happen in this arbitration. He should have known that or should have been told that by his lawyers.

Or perhaps he was. And perhaps he didn’t care and all of this is just prologue to the fight he’d rather have in a federal courtroom as opposed to a baseball arbitration.  There is no guarantee he’s going to even get that opportunity, however, so taking this stance is not bold, it’s reckless.

And if he had any shot of getting the benefit of the doubt from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz before, he can kiss that shot goodbye now.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.