MLB, not the federal government, is keeping Yoan Moncada from signing a deal

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Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada has been in purgatory for some time. He has permanent residence in Guatemala and has worked out for teams. Moreover, the OFAC — the government office which clears Cuban refugees for entry into and work in the United States — has given him the same sort of clearance that past Cuban players like Yasiel Puig and those before him received.

So why hasn’t he signed? Because, as Ben Badler of Baseball America Reports, Major League Baseball quietly ratcheted up the level of clearance that Cuban players need to sign with teams — demanding that they get a clearance the U.S. government doesn’t require but will, eventually, provide if asked — and that requires significantly more work.

It’s complicated, so go read Badler’s full story. And ask yourself if, based on history, it is particularly surprising why Major League Baseball may want to make it harder for teams to sign free agents.

Angels place Andrew Heaney on 10-day injured list

Andrew Heaney
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The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.

It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.

Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.

In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.