David Lennon of Newsday has a report which could prove pretty significant: a change to the NPB-to-Major Leagues posting system in which U.S. teams bid on the right to negotiate with Japanese players coming to the United States.
As of now, the teams interested in negotiating submit sealed bids, one is selected and the player has to negotiate with them or else not come to the U.S. at all until he is posted in a subsequent year. Lennon reports, however, that the process could be changed to where the top three bids are selected and the player can choose which of the three teams to engage.
It’s not free agency, exactly, but it does give the player a bit more choice. And though it may cost the Japanese team which gets the posting fee a bit of money if the player chooses, say, the third highest bidder, it may make the player more likely to strike a deal and thus improve the odds that the Japanese team gets a posting fee at all.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.