The Braves are trying to trade Alberto Callaspo

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The Braves scratched infielder Alberto Callaspo from tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers and now we have an explanation on the reason for the last-minute change:

Chris Johnson has been rehabbing a left hand injury and is expected to come off the disabled list later this week, so Bowman speculated earlier tonight that Callaspo’s days with the Braves were likely coming to an end. That Gonzalez is talking about it so openly means it’s inevitable, whether we’re talking about a trade or him being designated for assignment.

Callaspo signed a one-year, $3 million contract with Atlanta over the winter, but he showed up to spring training out of shape and has struggled as a part-time player this season. The 32-year-old is batting just .206 with one home run and a .545 OPS over 123 plate appearances. He has just three hits in his last 28 at-bats. He struggled last season as well, so it’s hard to see much of a market for him right now unless the Braves eat the great majority of his contract.

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.