David Price to the Cubs? Why not?

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To be clear, this is not a trade rumor. This is more like matchmaking. The matchmaker is Ken Rosenthal and you gotta admit that he makes some good points here:

The Cubs are deep enough in position prospects to make the right offer. And the Cubs, though they don’t always act like it, play in a large market, which means they can afford Price’s projected $20 million salary next season.

Oh, and one other thing: When Price said at the All-Star Game that Chicago “would be the coolest city to win a championship in right now,” he wasn’t referring to the White Sox.

He adds that the Cubs hired Derek Johnson as the clubs’ minor league pitching coordinator a couple of years ago and Johnson used to be Price’s college pitching coach, but that’s superficial stuff. It’s the “CC Sabathia lives in California so of course he’ll sign with the [insert California team here]” of 2014. The better part is noting the the Cubs match up pretty well with the Rays in that they have a lot of hitting prospects that the Rays would no doubt covet.

It would be weird for a team as bad as the Cubs to make a trade for an ace that every contender would kill for right now, but it’s not like the Cubs are going to come up with a guy internally who will be as good as Price can be expected to be in 2016 when, I figure, is the earliest they can be legitimately interesting.

Then again, no one expected the Rays to be legitimately interesting as quickly as they were back in 2008.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.