The Reds officially signed Cuban shortstop Jose Israel Garcia on Saturday, per a team announcement. The deal was reported by Baseball America’s Ben Badler on Tuesday and confirmed by the club after Garcia passed his physical on Thursday, but had yet to receive clearance from MLB. Garcia received a $5 million signing bonus, which cost the Reds $10 million after they exceeded the international spending cap.
Garcia, 19, is the third international player the Reds have picked up during the 2016-17 signing period. While he’s not projected to have the same ceiling as fellow Cuban prospect Luis Robert, he impressed in the Cuban junior leagues and batted .320/.426/.410 over 149 PA for the 18U league in 2016. According to Badler, the hot-hitting infielder profiles best at second base, but has the range for shortstop and the arm for third base if need be. He’s expected to report to the Reds’ affiliate in the Dominican Summer League.
Prior to Garcia’s signing, the Reds also picked up Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez last year. Per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, they’ve spent over $17.5 million on 20 international prospects during the current signing period, handcuffing them to a $300,000 cap for any additional international signings they make over the next two years.
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.
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.