The Cincinnati Reds are sick

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No, that’s not some figure of speech. It’s a literal description:

There was a big pot of chicken soup in the dining area of the Cincinnati Reds’ clubhouse on Wednesday. Several players were in the trainer’s room getting intravenous fluids.

A day after a stomach virus went through the team, the Reds were starting to feel better.

The Reds were still missing shortstop Zack Cozart and had to change their pitching plans for the second game of a series against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Mat Latos started in place of Mike Leake, who was weak after not eating for a day. Cozart was out for the second straight game.

On the bright side, after today, I bet the Reds are no longer 11th in the NL in runs.

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.