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Indians place Michael Brantley on DL with sprained right ankle

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MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports that the Indians activated outfielder Michael Brantley from the paternity list and placed him on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle. According to manager Terry Francona, the ankle injury “has been bothering [Brantley] for a while.”

Brantley, 30, last played on Wednesday when he doubled twice in a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers. Overall, he’s hitting .296/.360/.432 with five home runs and 28 RBI in 228 plate appearances.

Brantley played in only 11 games last season and has played in just 54 games this season, so the Indians are used to playing without him. Dan Robertson started in left field in Brantley’s place in each of the last five games and that figures to be the case while Brantley is absent. Austin Jackson could also draw some starts.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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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.