Orioles prospect Matt Hobgood, picked No. 5 overall in 2009, to miss season following surgery

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Matt Hobgood has been a disappointment since the Orioles selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, throwing 158 innings with a 5.48 ERA in the low minors, and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the 21-year-old right-hander will miss the entire season following shoulder surgery.

According to Connolly he’ll go under the knife on April 2 to “size down his right rotator cuff.” Tommy John elbow surgery gets all the attention, but rotator cuff surgeries are often even tougher for pitchers to come back from.

Hobgood received a $2.4 million signing bonus and wasted no time debuting in full-season ball, but he’s been dealing with shoulder problems since late 2010, spending last season on and off the disabled list while unsuccessfully trying rest and rehab.

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.