According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Brad Lidge’s agent Rex Gary said that his client will undergo hernia surgery tomorrow.
Lidge was placed on the 15-day disabled list last week with what was described as an abdominal wall strain. The 35-year-old right-hander isn’t expected to resume throwing for three weeks following surgery, so assuming he requires a minor league rehab assignment, it’s unlikely he’ll return to the Nationals until late May or early June.
Lidge has a 5.14 ERA and 7/7 K/BB ratio over seven innings this season. Henry Rodriguez, who blew his first save of the season Saturday night against the Dodgers, should serve as the Nationals’ primary closer for now.
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.