Royals sign Jon Rauch

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Jon Rauch, who was released by the Marlins and Orioles last season before sitting out the second half, has signed a minor-league deal with the Royals, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Rauch will get an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for a middle relief gig in Kansas City’s relatively stacked bullpen.

Rauch was terrible for the Marlins last year, but it was only 17 innings and he threw 58 innings with a 3.59 ERA and 42/12 K/BB ratio for the Mets in 2012. At age 35 he’s nearing the end of the line, but the 6-foot-10 right-hander could be useful and the price is certainly right.

Giants CEO Larry Baer likely to be disciplined today

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Steve Berman of The Athletic — known to some as Bay Area Sports Guy – reported overnight that Major League Baseball is likely to hand down discipline to Giants CEO Larry Baer today. Possibly as early as this morning.

As you’ll recall, on March 1, Baer was caught on video having a loud, public argument with his wife during which he tried to rip a cell phone out of her hands, which caused her to tumble off of her chair and to the ground as she screamed “help me!” After a couple of false-start statements in which he seemed to dismiss and diminish the incident, Baer released a second solo statement, apologizing to his wife, children and the Giants organization and saying he would “do whatever it takes to make sure that I never behave in such an inappropriate manner again.”

On March 4, Baer stepped away from the Giants, taking “personal time” and relinquishing his CEO role, at least temporarily. Given Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, which does not require criminal charges to trigger discipline — and given how bad a look it would be for Major League Baseball not to take any action against Baer when it is certain that it would take action against a player in a similar scenario — it was only a matter of time before the league added to whatever discipline Baer and the Giants had decided to do on their own accord.

At the time of the incident I detailed Major League Baseball’s history of disciplining owners. As discussed in that post, it’s a tricky business, as owners don’t typically rely on salaries from their team and thus it’s hard to distinguish a suspension from a vacation. The examples cited there, however, at least begin to outline the tools at MLB’s disposal in taking action against Baer, and the league has no doubt been thinking about how to approach the matter for the past month.

We’ll see what they came up with some time today.