Some awful news for the Yankees: top prospect Gleyber Torres has a torn UCL in his left elbow. He’ll have surgery. He’s done for the year.
Torres suffered a hyperextended left elbow while sliding headfirst into home plate during Saturday’s game for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. X-rays were negative and he was placed on the disabled list, but no one suspected that the injury was this serious, let alone that it would cost him the season.
Torres, of course, is not a pitcher. He’s an infielder. One of the top infield prospects in all of baseball and a top-10 overall prospect in the game according to most who rank such things. Though only 20 years old, he was hitting .309/.406/.457 at Triple-A and many suspected that he’d be playing for the Yankees soon given that they are in contention and given that third baseman Chase Headley has struggled. Those plans are obviously scrapped.
Torres, thankfully, throws with his right hand, so the rehab process will not be as extensive for him as it would be for a pitcher. At the moment the Yankees expect him to be ready for spring training in 2018. Still, this is quite a blow.
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.