The Braves are close to an agreement with free agent reliever Peter Moylan, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes. Terms of the deal are not yet known, though anything greater than a one-year contract would be surprising.
This figures to be Moylan’s third run with the Braves. The 39-year-old right-hander completed a two-year gig with the Royals in 2017, during which he put up a 3.49 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.0 SO/9 in a league-leading 79 appearances and 59 1/3 innings. While he hasn’t looked dominant at any point in his career, he showed promise after recovering from back surgery and two Tommy John surgeries and could provide some veteran support to a bullpen that ranked 27th among its major league peers last year.
The Braves have been linked to Moylan since November, but they’re not the only ones still in play for his services. Bowman adds that the Royals have continued to show interest in the veteran righty, though they don’t appear close to arranging a deal.
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.