Evan Gattis has had a nice little rookie season so far, but while he still has power to burn, the league is starting to figure him out and his OBP is going down. So it’s probably good that Brian McCann is back. The Braves just activated him and he’ll start tonight. The corresponding roster move: the optioning of Tyler Pastornicky. Which sort of sounds like an art house movie title if you think about it.
McCann is coming off shoulder surgery but has looked pretty good on his rehab stint. He’s a .279/.351/.475 career hitter and will be a welcome addition to the feast-or-famine offense they’ve got going on in Atlanta.
Gattis gets to stay and will likely spot in an outfield corner, at first and catch a little while providing a power threat off the bench.
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.