MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that Matt Wieters intends to exercise his $10.5 million option for 2018.
An easy decision for Wieters, as he’s coming off a terrible 2017 at the plate and would not get anything approaching $10.5 million on the open market. Weiters was one of the worst-hitting regulars in baseball in 2017 with a .225/.288/.344 batting line. His defense, once his calling card, is not what it once was and his multiple defensive blunders in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cubs helped cost the Nationals the game.
That kinda stinks, but it’s nice to have that $10.5 million option to fall back on and, hopefully, put together a bounceback year in 2018.
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.