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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 3, White Sox 2: – Jose Ramirez hit a bases-loaded single with two out in the 10th inning to give the Indians a walkoff win and a three-game sweep. It’s hard to imagine anything bigger happening in Cleveland sports yesterday, so I won’t even look.

Angels 2, Athletics 0: Jered Weaver has struggled this year but you wouldn’t know it by watching him yesterday. He pitched a three-hit shutout. And it was a Maddux to boot, requiring only 95 pitches. It’s hard to imagine anything worse happening to a sports team from Oakland yesterday.

Giants 5, Rays 1: Brandon Belt homered and the Giants swept the Rays. This actually was the best thing that happened in Bay Area sports yesterday.

Braves 6, Mets 0: Julio Teheran has gotten very, very little run support this year so he decided yesterday to toss a one-hit shutout. Given what’s going on with the Braves this season he should be allowed to bank five of the runs his teammates scored for future use.

Marlins 3, Rockies 0: Tom Koehler tossed six shutout innings. Walked six. Struck out six. Gold old lucky 666. The Rockies mustered two hits off of him and none off the pen. They must’ve wanted to get back to the hotel in time to watch Game 7.

Orioles 11, Blue Jays 6: Matt Wieters had four hits and drove in four runs and the O’s rattled off 19 hits in all as they took two of three from the Jays. As we sit here on the first official day of summer, Baltimore stands one game ahead of Boston and three games ahead of Toronto in what looks like will be a really fun AL East race.

Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: David Price allowed one run on eight hits over eight innings and Mookie Betts had three hits, including a go-ahead homer in the seventh. Boston takes two of three from Seattle and now goes on to play Chicago. Call me crazy — call me a gambler — but I can guarantee a Sox win the next four days in a row. Seriously. Bet you $100.

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 1: Archie Bradley allowed one run over six innings and the pen tossed three scoreless. Jake Lamb doubled in Paul Goldschmidt once and tripled him in once. I wonder if anyone has ever RBI’d a guy in for the cycle by doing that as well as singling in the same guy and then hitting a two-run homer with him on base. It has to have happened, right? Everything has happened in baseball once.

Twins 7, Yankees 4: Max Kepler and Eduardo Escobar each drove in a couple. Brian Dozier homered as the Twins salvaged one after losing three straight to the Yankees.

Astros 6, Reds 0: The top of the order has carried Houston for most of the early part of the season. Yesterday the bottom of the order, as both Evan Gattis and Luis Valbuena homered and drove in a couple. Mike Fiers tossed five and two-thirds shutout innings. Might’ve tossed more if he hadn’t been brought down by a Jay Bruce comebacker.

Royals 2, Tigers 1: Cheslor Cuthbert hit a walkoff single in the 13th inning to give the Royals their third win in the four-game series against the Tigers. After an eight-game losing streak at the begining of June, the Royals have won eight of their last nine.

Rangers 5, Cardinals 4: When Jurickson Profar was called up a few weeks back his manager said he was concerned about his playing time, suggesting that if he can’t play regularly on the big club for whatever reason he may need to be sent down so he can get in everyday reps. Yesterday Profar showed that, yeah, he can do OK off the bench too, hitting a two-run pinch hit single in the eighth to bring Texas back from behind. Profar is hitting .349/.379/.494 in 21 games since returning to the bigs after a two-year absence.

Dodgers 2, Brewers 1: The Dodgers win with a walkoff walk as Tyler Thornburg gave Yasmani Grandal a free pass with the bases loaded in the ninth. Kiké Hernandez homered in the eighth for the Dodgers other run. I’m assuming Craig Counsell didn’t like that homer, but I’m guessing a walkoff walk ticks off a manager even more. Kenta Maeda struck out eight in six and a third innings of one-run ball.

Padres 6, Nationals 3: Drew Pomeranz gave up three homers — two to Michael Taylor — and pitchers who give up three homers tend to lose most of the time, but they were solo shots and that was all the damage the Nats could do. Taylor went 4-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle. I’m sure he’s kicking himself that one of those homers didn’t fall a few feet short and ricochet off the wall some. At least assuming he thinks cycles are cool.

Cubs 10, Pirates 5: Willson Contreras homered in his first major league at bat. On the first pitch he saw, actually, so he probably should’ve just retired on the spot. Knowing when you’ve peaked is an important thing and saves you from embarrassment later in life. Kyle Hendricks struck out 12 in six innings. The Cubs swept the Pirates, who are 15 games back and three games under .500. Even if the Cubs are making a mockery of the NL Central race this year, I did expect the Pirates to be a lot better than this. Everyone did, didn’t they?

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.