Continuing their focus on using their spending advantages to acquire talent internationally the Dodgers are close to signing Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
Arruebarruena defected from Cuba in November and held workouts for MLB teams in December. He’s considered an elite defensive shortstop, but there are lots of questions about how his hitting will translate to the majors.
Because he’s 24 years old the spending won’t count against the international limits, giving the Dodgers a way to spend all that cash they have sitting around. Earlier this offseason the Dodgers signed another Cuban middle infielder, Alexander Guerrero, for $28 million, and in 2012 they dropped $42 million on Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.