Sometimes it seems like 90% of what we write about players off-the-field is negative. Thank God for that other 10%:
Free-agent shortstop Miguel Tejada has traveled to Haiti
to help the victims of last week’s devastating earthquake. Tejada, a
six-time All-Star and former Oriole, arranged for a van full of food,
water and medicine to be taken to Port-au-Prince on Sunday, and the Dominican Republic native took a helicopter to the Haitian capital. An estimated 100,000
or more people have died in Tuesday’s magnitude-7.0 quake.
Way to go, Miguel and everyone else who is wading into the nightmare that is post-quake Haiti to lend aide and assistance.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.