Braves sign 18-year-old Dominican prospect for $1.6 million

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David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves and Dominican shortstop prospect Edward Salcedo have agreed to a deal worth $1.6 million.
Salcedo has been on the prospect radar for several years and nearly signed with the Indians for a reported $2 million back in 2007, but O’Brien notes that “the deal fell apart because of questions about whether he was old enough to sign with a major league organization.”
MLB recently conducted an official investigation at the Braves’ request and found that Salcedo was born on July 30, 1991. So now the Braves have an 18-year-old shortstop prospect who O’Brien describes as “a strong defensive player and a better hitter, with a line-drive swing and good power potential.”
He’ll likely begin this season at Single-A, but it sounds like the Braves think the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has the potential to move pretty quickly up the organizational ladder.

Teams still don’t know if three-batter minimum rule will be in effect for 2020

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According to Athletics GM David Forst, Major League Baseball has still not informed teams whether or not the proposed three-batter-minimum rule will be in effect for the 2020 season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The league and the players’ union came to an agreement back in March regarding a handful of rule changes with the three-batter-minimum rule among them. From the way it was discussed, it seemed like it was set in stone. If Forst is unsure, then the league clearly hasn’t done a good job of communicating that.

Slusser notes that the A’s are operating as if the rule will be in effect, as the club non-tendered lefty Ryan Buchter earlier this week. Buchter has a career 2.86 ERA with 235 strikeouts in 214 innings, but the bulk of that success has come against left-handed hitters. This past season 115 of the 198 total plate appearances (58 percent) against Buchter were taken by fellow lefties. He held lefties to a .728 OPS compared to .904 against righties. As a result, despite Buchter’s overall terrific numbers, the A’s felt the roster spot could be more effectively used with a different player given the proposed rule.

Some teams may not make the same assumption as the A’s. What if a team keeps its lefty specialist(s) on the roster or goes out and acquires such a player, not knowing whether or not the rule is in effect for the upcoming season?

Since it has been brought up publicly, the issue will likely be resolved quickly and we should all have clarity on the rules for the 2020 season.