And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlight

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Mets 2, Brewers 0: Jacob deGrom was fantastic, pitching eight shutout innings. He kind of had to given the Mets’ offense these days.

White Sox 8, Tigers 7: Tied in the tenth, Joba Chamberlain came into the game. The White Sox weren’t impressed. Melky Cabrera walked, Chamberlain hit Avisail Garcia with a pitch, J.B. Shuck’s hit an infield single to shortstop and then Carlos Sanchez tripled into right to clear the bases and put Chicago ahead 8-5. The Tigers plated two in the bottom half but two was not enough.

Orioles 8, Red Sox 6: The Orioles put up a a six-run fourth inning, capped by a Matt Wieters two-run homer. J.J. Hardy had a two-run double and Steve Pearce had three hits. The bigger deal for Baltimore is that Miguel Gonzalez came off the DL and made it through five innings. Not five great innings — he gave up four runs — but five healthy innings.

Athletics 6, Rangers 3: The sweep for Oakland. The A’s have won five in a row and, while they still have a pretty poor record and have a ton of teams ahead of them, they are only six games out of the wild card. Everyone is assuming they’ll have a fire sale. With parity and two wild cards, does anyone have a fire sale anymore? At least in the middle of the season?

Dodgers 4, Cubs 0: The Dodgers’ rotation does not look like they thought it would before the season began, but occasionally they get some decent results. Carlos Frias gave them some yesterday, tossing five shutout innings before handing it over to the pen. Jon Lester gave up all four Dodgers runs and didn’t make it past the fourth inning. He hasn’t won in seven starts.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Despite all of the runs scored in the first couple of games of this series, it was only 2-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Then Colorado put up a five-spot, kicked off with a Troy Tulowitzki pinch-hit homer. Dbacks pitchers walked five guys that inning, two intentionally. Putting guys on base in Colorado is a good way to die.

Giants 13, Padres 8: Brandon Belt hit two triples and the Giants had four in all, which is not the sort of thing you see everyday. Then again, you don’t get to play the Padres and their sub-par outfield every day. A couple likely would’ve been triples with anyone playing out there, but Matt Duffy’s came “past a diving Kemp.”  Brandon Belt’s second triple likewise went to right. It was over Kemp’s head and would’ve been over anyone’s, but it’s not like Kemp was The Flash getting to the ball and getting it back in.

Nationals 7, Braves 0: Man the Braves stink. That’s eight in a row they’ve dropped to Washington, whose starters have put up 41 and a third consecutive shutout innings. Now Max Scherzer is going to pitch against the poor-hitting Phillies, so expect more of the same. Or maybe even a Johnny Vander Meer.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: A pretty decent game from Brandon Phillips, who hit the go-ahead homer in the 13th inning and did this:

 

Todd Frazier had himself a decent game too, with three hits, including a tying homer in the seventh

Cardinals 5, Marlins 1: I’m sure the Cardinals have lost at some point this season, I just can’t really picture it in my mind. Lance Lynn came off the DL to toss six shutout innings. Pete Kozma came off the bench to go 3-for-3 and score two runs. St. Louis is basically the Terminator this year.

Astros 4, Yankees 0: The Astros won a game and didn’t hit any homers? Wild. Of course they didn’t need to with Dallas Keuchel tossing a six-hit shutout and striking out 12. Jose Altuve had three hits and scored three times. Evan Gattis drove in a couple.

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.