Last week the Yankees made several moves before the trade deadline, but George King of the New York Post says one move they wanted to make but couldn’t pull off was acquiring Dustin Ackley from the Mariners.
According to King the Mariners asked for minor leaguer Bryan Mitchell in return for Ackley, but the Yankees weren’t willing to deal the 23-year-old right-hander and instead moved on to acquiring Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks.
Ackley was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft, but he’s now 26 years old and has hit just .248 with a .674 OPS in 456 games as a big leaguer. That includes hitting .258 with six homers and a .693 OPS in 100 games this year as the Mariners’ primary left fielder. He also has experience at second base and center field, so he’d have fit what they were looking for in terms of defensive versatility, but it’s easy to see why New York balked at giving up much for Ackley.
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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.