It’s not every day a player can say he accomplished a Ruthian feat, but Matt Moore has earned that very prestigious honor today. As the pitcher of record behind the Rays’ 3-1 win over the Orioles this afternoon, Moore improved to 8-0 in nine starts this season, becoming the first lefty age 23 or younger to start 8-0 since Babe Ruth in 1917 with the Red Sox. That astonishing fact comes to us via the SportsCenter Twitter account.
Moore, who turns 24 on June 18, held the Orioles to one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings. Among starters who have made nine starts, his 34 total hits allowed is the lowest in the American League and bested only by Matt Harvey’s 32.
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.