“I feel like we’re being invaded, like it’s 1965 all over again”

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Those are the words of Astin Jacobo, a buscon from the Dominican Republic. He, and many like him, are not at all pleased about what appears to be inevitable: Major League Baseball expanding the draft to the D.R..

Or maybe it is, um, evitable. As this story from The Economist suggests, there are some who are thinking about their options if MLB decides to go that route:

Many buscones talk of a strike. But they have not formed a union. Even if they do, they could not stop their players from opting to sign with MLB teams.

That leaves the government. Felipe Payano, the sports minister, has already written a letter to Bud Selig, MLB’s commissioner, expressing his opposition to a draft. He says his office is investigating whether it might violate the DR’s free-trade agreement with America. Another option would be to sue MLB for collusion under Dominican antitrust law.

Sounds like a pipe dream, but it does suggest the general dissatisfaction of many at how Major League Baseball seems intent on taking away the right of Dominican players to sell their services to the highest bidder.  Or, as Jacobo puts it in greater detail:

“I feel like we’re being invaded, like it’s 1965 all over again. We’re only number one in one thing, and that’s baseball. We can’t give that away.”

They won’t necessarily be giving it all away.  But they’ll definitely be selling it a much lower price if the draft comes.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.