Rays promote stud pitching prospect Matt Moore to Triple-A

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Tampa Bay has promoted Matt Moore to Triple-A, putting the stud prospect one step from the majors at age 22.

Moore, who ranked 15th on Baseball America‘s preseason list of the MLB’s top prospects and moved up to the No. 3 spot on their midseason revision, had a 2.20 ERA and 131/28 K/BB ratio in 102 innings at Double-A, leading the Southern League in opponents’ batting average (.187) and strikeouts.

For his career Moore has a 2.79 ERA and 621 strikeouts in 445 innings and adding the left-hander to a rotation that already includes David Price, James Shields, and Jeremy Hellickson is a scary thought and one reason why the Rays are going to be winning 90-plus games a year for a long time. It’s possible Moore will get a cup of coffee in the majors this September, but his true estimated time of arrival is probably mid-2012.

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.