Orioles acquire outfielder Travis Snider from Pirates

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have completed a trade for Pirates outfielder Travis Snider. Pittsburgh’s return is a player to be named later and 21-year-old pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley.

The O’s lost Nelson Cruz this offseason to the Mariners and Nick Markakis to the Braves, so they’ve been desperately looking for an outfielder, courting free agents like Colby Rasmus, Norichika Aoki, and even Ichiro Suzuki. Ultimately the addition came via trade, and it could be a good one.

Snider had a very strong second half for Pittsburgh in 2014 and carries some upside at age 26. He was expendable for the Bucs because stud prospect Gregory Polanco is due to take over the right field gig.

This is a return to the AL East for Snider, who was drafted 14th overall by the Blue Jays in 2006. He batted just .248 with a .306 on-base percentage in 242 games with Toronto between 2008-2012 but slashed .288/.356/.524 over his final 60 games with the Pirates last year.

The O’s will hope he proves to be a legitimate late-bloomer.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.