More rough news for Nats catcher Wilson Ramos.
According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, Ramos aggravated his strained left hamstring Wednesday while doing first-to-third running drills at the Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera, Florida. He has been shut down indefinitely and is unlikely to return before the mid-July All-Star break.
Ramos, who was kidnapped in his native Venezuela in November 2011, played in only 25 games during the 2012 regular season due to knee issues and has appeared in just 14 games here in 2013 because of lingering hamstring problems.
Kurt Suzuki will continue to serve as the Nationals’ primary catcher. Jhonatan Solano is his backup.
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.