MLB hands down the suspensions for Tuesday night’s Dodgers-Diamondbacks melee

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The discipline has been handed down for the Dodgers-Diamondbacks melee on Tuesday night. Twelve different people were disciplined with eight being handed suspensions. The breakdown:

  • Ian Kennedy gets a ten-game suspension;
  • Eric Hinske gets a five-game suspension;
  • J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker each get two-game suspensions;
  • Ronald Belisario gets a one-game suspension;
  • Dodgers coach Mark McGwire was suspended two games;
  • Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson were each suspended for one;
  • Fines in undisclosed amounts were handed out to Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig, Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra;
  • The Dodgers were fined as a team for allowing players on the disabled list — Josh Beckett and Chris Capuano — to go out onto the field during the fight. How they, as a team, were supposed to stop them when their managers and coaches were all out there fighting too I have no idea.

Kinda surprising that Greinke didn’t get any time off for clearly throwing at Miguel Montero, but I suppose the powers that be figure him being plunked was enough.

As for the others: We live in a world where throwing a fastball at someone’s head makes you miss one start, in all likelihood. Two at most. We also live in aw world where the managers who preside over the beanball wars get a slap on the wrist. That doesn’t seem right to me. Managers set the tone for their team and players feel obligated to engage in these battles lest they fall out of favor with their managers. The penalties should be greater.

The managers and coaches will begin serving their suspensions immediately. Players have a right to appeal. If they do, they will not be suspended until the appeal is heard.

Six of seven players decline $17.9 million qualifying offers

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Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was the only one of seven eligible players to accept his $17.9 million qualifying offer. Bryce Harper, A.J. Pollock, Craig Kimbrel, Patrick Corbin, Yasmani Grandal, and Dallas Keuchel each rejected his, officially making them free agents. Teams that had their QO’s rejected will recoup a draft pick once the player signs elsewhere.

That Harper rejected his QO comes as no surprise, as he is expected to strike perhaps the largest free agent contract in baseball history. Though the free agent market has been less lucrative lately than in previous years, the combination of Harper’s elite talent and his age — he’s only 26 years old — makes him a primary target for more than a handful of teams. Harper reportedly turned down a 10-year, $300 million contract extension offer from the Nationals, so that would seem to be a baseline.

It is also not surprising that Kimbrel, 30, turned down his QO from the Red Sox. Despite a so-so showing during a championship run, Kimbrel is still young and talented enough to land another lucrative contract on the free agent market.

Keuchel bet on himself in turning down the Astros’ QO. He’s been solid since winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, owning a 3.77 ERA across 83 starts over the last three seasons. However, he turns 31 years old at the beginning of 2019, and his already mediocre strikeout rate declined even further this past season, so there may be some skepticism about his ability to perform over the course of a multi-year deal. Keuchel will still get one eventually, but his market may be slower to develop.

Pollock, soon 31 as well, will be the outfielder most coveted once Harper is off the market. When he’s healthy, he’s a dynamic five-tool player. However, Pollock hasn’t played in more than 113 games in a season since 2015, so that may be a red flag. Pollock ended 2018 batting .257/.316/.484 with 21 home runs, 65 RBI, 61 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 460 plate appearances while playing above-average defense according to various defensive metrics.

Grandal, 30, could’ve gone either way with his QO, but ultimately chose to decline. He had a disappointing postseason, both offensively and defensively. Given how humans are prone to recency bias, it stood to reason that his October performance could have hurt his market. The catching position, however, is rather weak and Grandal stands out in a market that is otherwise focused on Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Grandal did swat 24 home runs with an .815 OPS in 140 games for the Dodgers this past season.

Corbin, 29, was the most obvious QO decline after Harper. The lefty is coming off of a career year, finishing with a 3.15 ERA and a 246/48 K/BB ratio in exactly 200 innings. Corbin is the best free agent pitcher on the market this offseason. The Yankees have been seriously linked with Corbin even before the season ended.

Ryu likely chose to accept his QO because of his age and injury history. It would have been a gamble to pursue a multi-year deal. He did, however, make 15 starts during the regular season to the tune of a 1.97 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 15 walks in 82 1/3 innings. Those are great numbers. And most clubs would have been smart enough to look beyond his 5.21 ERA in the postseason, which has more to do with a leaky bullpen than his own personal failings. Still, it’s hard to fault Ryu for playing it safe and taking the guaranteed $17.9 million for one year.