Read the documents filed in the Orioles-Nationals-MASN lawsuit

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I have obtained copies of the documents supporting the temporary restraining order issued today preventing Major League Baseball and the Nationals from enforcing the arbitration which ruled in the Nationals’ favor in connection with its dispute with the Orioles over cable rights fees. They are embedded below. Click on the document name for a larger size.

The upshot of the arguments, for those who do not wish to read: MASN is asking that the arbitration be set aside for conflict of interest for the most part. The argument includes the following claims:

  • The same lawyers represented the Nationals, Major League Baseball and the clubs of the three owners who comprised the arbitration panel;
  • “The three arbitrators, MLB and the Commissioner of Baseball, all had a direct and significant pecuniary interest in the outcome of the arbitration.”
  • The authority set up to determine the amount of money the Nats were supposed to get from MASN “exceeded its authority by intentionally refusing to use its established methodology to determine the fair market value of the telecast rights fees as mandated . . .”

Some of this is silly. Major League Baseball and its clubs, for certain purposes, are always represented by the same counsel and everyone knows this. As such, claims that these alleged conflicts “were not disclosed” don’t seen particularly important here. The one about the panel not being impartial because they are owners of other clubs and thus have a stake — and maybe a conflict — regarding the rights fees may be more legitimate.

It’s worth noting, however, as we noted in the A-Rod/Biogenesis case, that having arbitration awards set aside is extremely difficult.

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Padres close to acquiring Freddy Galvis from the Phillies

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Scott Miller of Bleacher Report says that the San Diego Padres are in “serious” talks with the Phillies to acquire shortstop Freddy Galvis. He said that a deal could happen today, in fact.

Galvis, 28, is a superior defensive shortstop. He hit .255/.309/.382 with 12 homers and 14 steals over 162 games in 2017. Which, while not good, is pretty much as good as he gets on offense and works well enough given his glove and given how durable he has proven to be.

No word on what the Phillies would get back for Galvis, but 2013 first rounder J.P. Crawford is clearly the Phillies’ shortstop of the future. Crawford, who was called up and played in 23 games in 2017, has great range and an MLB ready glove. He has some holes in his swing but some pop too, so there’s no reason for Philly not to install him at short now.