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Fernando Salas not allowed to pitch due to work visa issue

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets reliever Fernando Salas won’t be allowed to play in Grapefruit League games until his work visa issue is sorted out. Thus far, Salas has only been allowed to participate in simulated games.

Salas got the proper paperwork filled out in order to play in the World Baseball Classic. He intends to pitch for Team Mexico. Their first game begins on March 10.

Salas, 31, joined the Mets at the August 31 waiver deadline from the Angels. Prior to the trade, he had a 4.47 ERA with a 45/19 K/BB ratio in 56 1/3 innings for the Angels. He turned his season around in the final month with the Mets, working 17 1/3 innings with a 2.08 ERA and a 19/0 K/BB ratio.

With Jeurys Familia likely to be suspended to begin the regular season, Salas was in line to be the set-up man before interim closer Addison Reed. The Mets are hopeful that Salas will get the work visa issue addressed in time for the regular season.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.