The Mariners have optioned DH Jesus Montero to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Kendrys Morales, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Morales is in the Mariners’ starting lineup tonight, batting clean-up against the Orioles.
Morales rejoined the Mariners in a trade yesterday which sent Stephen Pryor to the Twins. The 31-year-old 1B/DH didn’t have a great start with the Twins, posting a disappointing .234/.259/.325 slash line with one home run and 18 RBI in 162 plate appearances. The Twins had signed him to a one-year deal worth a prorated $14 million on June 8.
Montero, 24, performed poorly in a handful of plate appearances at the major league level, slashing .235/.235/.412 with one home run and two RBI in 17 trips to the plate. To his credit, Montero has performed well with Tacoma, where he has spent a vast majority of his season, but the Mariners would prefer to see him translate that into success in the majors.
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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.