Diamondbacks add Ariel Prieto to staff as coach and translator

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The Diamondbacks announced this afternoon that they have added former major league pitcher Ariel Prieto to their staff as a coach and translator.

Prieto, who is from Cuba, served in the same capacity with the Athletics over the past three seasons and helped with Yoenis Cespedes’ transition to the United States. One would think he’ll have a similar mentor-type role with the newly-signed Yasmany Tomas. The press release from the Diamondbacks notes that Prieto also has the “unique ability to ambidextrous batting practice,” which is a pretty awesome added bonus.

Prieto came over legally from Cuba in 1995 and posted a 4.85 ERA and a 15-24 record over six seasons in the majors between the Athletics and the (then) Devil Rays.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.