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.

Dodgers acquire Manny Machado from Orioles for five minor leaguers

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The Orioles and Dodgers are expected to finally complete involving SS/3B Manny Machado, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Orioles will receive five prospects from the Dodgers: Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon, and Breyvic Valera.

Machado, 26, is in the final year of his contract, so this is currently a rental for the first-place Dodgers. Machado ended the first half batting .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances. In Los Angeles, he will handle shortstop, allowing Chris Taylor to move over to second base.

MLB Pipeline rated Diaz as the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect and No. 84 across baseball. Kremer was No. 27 in the Dodgers’ system and Bannon was No. 28.

Diaz, 21, is considered the centerpiece of the trade. The outfielder hit .314/.428/.477 with 20 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and 36 runs scored in 264 plate appearances at Double-A Tulsa this season.

Kremer, 22, was selected by the Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2016 draft. He spent most of his season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga before earning a promotion to Tulsa earlier this month. Overall, in 17 starts, the right-hander posted a 3.03 ERA with a 125/29 K/BB ratio in 86 innings.

Pop, 21, was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. He has spent his season between Rancho Cucamonga and Single-A Great Lakes. Overall, he compiled a 1.04 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 13 walks in 43 1/3 innings of relief.

Bannon, 22, was selected by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2017 draft. With Rancho Cucamonga this season, the infielder batted .296/.402/.559 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI in 403 PA.

Valera, 26, has appeared in 20 games at the major league level for the Dodgers this season, batting a meager .172 with a .445 OPS in 34 PA. Valera has versatility, having played second base, third base, and corner outfield this year while also having experience in center field, shortstop, and first base.