Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates dismiss Rene Gayo, director of Latin American scouting, for receiving improper payments

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates have dismissed Rene Gayo, director of Latin American scouting, for receiving improper payments. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic broke the news first.

The Pirates issued a statement:

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that the Club will not be renewing the contract of Director of Latin American Scouting, Rene Gayo. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

“We informed Rene that we would not be renewing his contract upon its expiration next month and thanked him for his efforts on behalf of the Pirates,” said Huntington. “As an organization, we concluded that we needed to move in a new and different direction with our Latin American scouting leadership. We will immediately begin an exhaustive search aimed at securing the very best leader for our Latin American scouting operations.”

“We had been apprised of Major League Baseball’s investigation into alleged Rules violations committed by Rene during his tenure with the Pirates and the fact that MLB intends to discipline Rene as a result of those violations. Other than confirming our profound disappointment in the breach of trust that was the subject of MLB’s investigation, we will have no further comment on the investigation or MLB’s intended discipline.”

According to Rosenthal’s report, Gayo received payment from at least one Mexican Summer League team for the sale of a player to the Pirates. Rosenthal also notes that the Pirates aren’t expect to receive any form of punishment from Major League Baseball, though Gayo himself may.

Gayo was responsible for discovering players including Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, as well as Edgar Santana, Elias Diaz, and Jose Osuna. In the documentary Pelotero, which focused on the recruitment of Miguel Sano and Juan Carlos Bautista, Gayo was portrayed as having used MLB’s investigation into Sano’s true age to scare off teams to gain leverage in negotiations.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.