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Report: MLB investigating abuse allegations against Derek Norris by his ex-fiancée

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Major League Baseball is investigating abuse allegations against Rays catcher Derek Norris made by his ex-fiancée, Kristen Eck, in an Instagram post. As Crasnick notes, Eck didn’t refer to him by name, but she did an interview with MLB Network two years ago in which she was identified as his fiancée.

In the post, Eck wrote that she “was physically and emotionally abused by this beautiful man.” Later on in the post, she wrote, “When I left, he and his family made sure I had nothing.”

Norris, 28, signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Rays near the end of spring training. So far this season, he has hit a poor .194/.256/.326 in 160 plate appearances.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has increased punishment for players alleged of domestic abuse. Last year, former Braves outfielder Hector Olivera was suspended 82 games, then-Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes got a 52-game suspension, and Aroldis Chapman got 30 games. Jeurys Familia served a 15-game suspension to start the 2017 season for his incident earlier this year. Punishments levied by Major League Baseball are not dependent on a criminal conviction.

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.