Cody Ross is off the table

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The fact that I’ve been the only person on the planet dropping references to Cody Ross in trade rumor stories these last few days is a testament to the ability of one’s fandom to overtake one’s objectivity from time to time. Intellectually I know that the Marlins aren’t really shopping him and that even if they were they wouldn’t trade him to the Braves. My heart, however, looks at the crap Bobby Cox has been penciling in out in left and center, however, and really wants to see Ross in a cap with an “A” on it.

Ain’t happening, though. I’ve accepted it now, on the power of a tweet from Fanhouse.com’s Frankie Piliere, who says the Marlins have taken him off the table in all trade discussions.

Now, let’s get all delusional about Josh Willingham . . .

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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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.