Orioles place Brian Roberts, Zach Britton on disabled list

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The Orioles made it official on Monday, placing Brian Roberts on the 15-day disabled list with lingering concussion symptoms.

Roberts contends he making steady progress, but there is no timetable for his return. The former All-Star hasn’t played since last May.

The Orioles plan to have Roberts travel with the team initially.

“I told Buck [Showalter] the other day, ‘You don’t know how excited you’ve made me to know I don’t have to start down here and be isolated from everybody,'” Roberts told the Baltimore Sun. “That was part of the miserable aspect to it last year. Last year, it was very important for me to be down here and get away from the craziness. Now it’s important for me to get back in the craziness. I guess the good part it [is] that’s the difference in where I am in the recovery process.”

With Roberts out, the Orioles will go with Robert Andino at second base. Endy Chavez figures to get starts in the leadoff spot.

The Orioles also put Zach Britton, who might have been their Opening Day starter, on the DL with his shoulder injury. Veteran pitchers Dontrelle Willis, Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken and infielder Matt Antonelli were among their cuts.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.