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Report: Twins sign Lance Lynn

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Free agent right-hander Lance Lynn has agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with the Twins, per multiple reports from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. The contract includes an additional $2 million in potential performance bonuses, bringing the total estimated value to $14 million. The club has yet to confirm the signing.

Lynn, 30, was originally pegged to receive something in the neighborhood of a four-year, $50+ million contract this offseason. Morosi points out that the righty received richer offers from multiple teams, but “preferred the fit” in Minnesota and believed in the Twins’ chances of contending in 2018. It’s also worth noting that the Twins had allegedly reached out with a two-year, $20 million offer last month, one that he ultimately refused in hopes of securing a longer commitment and higher annual value.

Lynn completed a six-year stint with the Cardinals in 2017, pitching to an 11-8 record in 33 starts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 186 1/3 innings. It was a strong showing from the right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery in November 2015 and was shelved through the entirety of the 2016 season. When healthy, however, he’s consistently turned in sub-4.00 ERAs and 3.0+ fWAR from year to year, and figures to feature prominently in a four-man rotation that already includes right-handers Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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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.