Rays left-hander Matt Moore was shut down for a little over a week after feeling some abdominal discomfort while performing a fielding drill in late February. He’s still behind the other starters in Rays camp here in early March, but that should begin to change as Opening Day approaches.
According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Moore is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday against the Orioles and will be allowed to progress normally after the outing. He’ll likely go two innings in his first start, three innings the next time out, and so on and so on until he’s sufficiently geared up for the start of the regular season.
Moore registered a dominant 1.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 210/46 K/BB ratio across 155 innings last year between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. The 22-year-old southpaw carries ace potential.
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.