Alex Rodriguez played his ninth minor-league rehab game yesterday at Double-A and hit his first homer, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs as he comes back from hip surgery.
And then afterward Rodriguez gave all sorts of optimistic quotes to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger, saying it was “by far the best I’ve felt and played” and “today we checked a lot of boxes.”
Asked about his return timetable, Rodriguez declared himself “about six days away” from coming off the disabled list and rejoining the Yankees, which coincides with the date his rehab stint would reach the maximum length.
Overall in nine rehab games he’s 5-for-25 (.200) with one homer, one double, and a 7/1 K/BB ratio, so Rodriguez hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in the minors.
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.