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Hector Olivera signs with an independent league team

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that former major leaguer Hector Olivera has signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent team based in Texas that is part of the Atlantic League.

We last heard of Olivera, the Padres released him last August — just two weeks after acquiring him from the Braves in the Matt Kemp trade. Olivera never actually suited up for the Padres. He hit .245/.296/.378 with the Braves in 2015-16 after coming over as part of a 13-player trade that also involved the Dodgers and Marlins.

Olivera was arrested in April last year for a domestic dispute. Major League Baseball suspended him for 82 games. He was later convicted of misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, a decision which he appealed. He is still owed, from the Padres, the remainder of the six-year, $62.5 million contract he signed with the Dodgers in May 2015.

In a Twitter Q&A last year, Braves GM John Coppolella said that the Olivera trade was his biggest mistake and that it “still haunts me.” In another recent Twitter Q&A, Coppolella said the trade “was terrible and that’s on me.”

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.