Their front office is like that old The Far Side comic in which the crisis clinic is on fire and floating over a waterfall, but the Atlanta Braves at least have a coaching staff in place.
Brain Snitker remains in charge as manager, but he now has Walt Weiss, who replaces Terry Pendleton as bench coach. In another move, Eric Young Sr. replaces Eddie Perez as first base coach. Finally, Sal Fasano has also been hired as a catching coach. Based on the last org chart I saw, they didn’t have someone dedicated to that before, though former catcher Eddie Perez no doubt assisted in this regard.
The rest of the staff — Kevin Seitzer as hitting coach, Jose Castro as his assistant, Chuck Hernandez as pitching coach and Ron Washington as third base coach — returns.
Worth observing that Snitker stood a good chance of getting fired at the end of this past season but was saved, in part, because the players wanted him back. It’s safe to assume that Braves will have a short leash on him in 2018. Meanwhile, his coaching staff has two guys in Weiss and Washington with big league managing experience.
One of ’em might as well save some time and change his first name to “interim.”
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.