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Cubs acquire reliever Brandon Kintzler from Nationals

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Ahead of Tuesday’s 4 PM ET non-waiver trade deadline, the Cubs announced the acquisition of reliever Brandon Kintzler from the Nationals in exchange for minor league pitcher Jhon Romero. The Cubs moved pitcher Justin Hancock to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Kintzler.

Kintzler, who turns 34 years old tomorrow, has posted a 3.59 ERA with a 31/13 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings of work for the Nationals this season. Across his nine years in the majors, he owns a 3.30 career ERA.

The Cubs, who enter Tuesday in first place in the NL Central, have had to work without closer Brandon Morrow. Morrow has been out since the end of the first half with a biceps injury. Pedro Strop has gotten the call in save situations as they’ve come up in the time since, but Kintzler could see some save chances of his own.

Romero, 23, has spent his 2018 campaign with High-A Myrtle Beach. The right-hander compiled a 3.27 ERA with a 57/17 K/BB ratio in 44 innings of relief.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.