Dale Sveum wants Alfonso Soriano to use a smaller bat

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Alfonso Soriano’s bat isn’t in the best shape of its life. Manager Dale Sveum thinks it needs to lose a few ounces.

“The fact of the matter is fastballs are getting too deep,” manager Dale Sveum said Sunday. “Whatever it is, it’s just a strange phenomenon right now that Edwin Maysonet has more home runs than Alfonso Soriano.”

Soriano has yet to homer this season. He’s hitting .250 with 16 RBI in 112 at-bats.

Sveum, a former hitting coach, has been working with Soriano in the hopes of adding more power to his stroke. As he told CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney:

“There’s no question I’d like to see a much lighter bat,” Sveum said. “He has adjusted a little bit, but I think a really smaller, lighter bat would help a lot.”

Soriano has always used one of the game’s heaviest bats, even though he’s far from one of the league’s biggest guys. Now 36, it probably is time for him to change it up a bit. However, pride may be getting in the way.

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.