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Report: MLBPA files grievance against Braves on behalf of Carter Stewart

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the MLB Players Association has filed a grievance on behalf of Carter Stewart, the Braves’ first-round selection (No. 8 overall) in the 2018 draft. The Braves did not sign Stewart in part because of a physical that gave them cause for concern. MLB set the slot value for No. 8 at $4,980,700 million. In order to qualify for draft pick compensation for failing to sign their first-rounder, the Braves would have had to have offered Stewart 40 percent of slot value, or a minimum of $1,992,280. According to the grievance, they did not.

Stewart now faces having to enroll at a junior college before reentering the draft in 2019. He and his agent Scott Boras seek instead for him to be made a free agent, which would be a more lucrative endeavor as he would be able to negotiate personally with any interested team rather than those who have the requisite bonus pool. Per Rosenthal, Stewart is believed to be a long shot to win his case. The case was heard before an arbitration panel in New York last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and will resume at a later date.

Rosenthal also notes that the Stewart situation had a ripple effect on the Braves as they also failed to sign pitcher Zack Hess, selected in the 34th round. The Braves had planned to sign Stewart below slot and Hess above slot.

Report: Felipe Vázquez arrested on child sex charges

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Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez has been arrested and charged with one count of computer pornography, the solicitation of a child, and one count of providing obscene material to minors.

The details, from a report from the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Department are ugly.

According to authorities, Vázquez has allegedly been engaging in sexual activity with a now-15-year-old girl from the time she as 13 years-old. As recently as this July Vázquez allegedly sent the victim videos of him engaging in an unspecified sex act. Vázquez also allegedly sent the victim texts saying that they would meet for sex after the baseball season was over. It is unclear based on the minimal information currently available if the “sexual activity” referred to in the past involved physical activity or merely electronic communication.

The age of consent in the State of Florida is 18. While, like many states, Florida has “close-in-age” exceptions, they do not apply to the 28-year-old Vázquez and someone as young as his alleged victim.

Vázquez has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball while the case is pending against him.

We will, without question, be following this story as it develops.