Report: MLBPA investigating comment made by Alex Anthopoulos

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The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement on Wednesday, saying it is launching an investigation after Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos made a comment in a conference call earlier this week which described coordination between clubs approaching free agency. Anthopoulos said, “Every day you get more information. And we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs — obviously the Astros and (Nationals) being in the World Series, they were tied up — but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”

Executive director Tony Clark said in response, “The statements made by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos call into question the integrity of the entire free-agent system. The clear description of Club coordination is egregious, and we have launched an immediate investigation looking into the matter.”

The collective bargaining agreement states, “Players shall not act in concert with other Players and Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.”

There has been tension between ownership and the union for the last couple of years as the balance of power seems to have swung heavily in favor of ownership. The union has been unhappy with the recent slowness of free agency and the qualifying offer system, for example. This statement is just the latest as the two sides battle for power.

The comment Anthopoulos made is certainly sketchy, and certainly worth looking into, but it is not clear evidence of collusion. The phrase, “we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs,” is vague. What does it mean? Is it simply contacting other clubs to see which players might be available via trade? Or is it specifically asking them about specific free agents and dollar amounts of offers?

That being said, we can certainly add it onto the pile of questionable things that could potentially point to collusion. Back in February, lefty Francisco Liriano was unsigned when all of a sudden he received nine minor league contract offers, including seven on the same day for “pretty much the same money,” The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel reported.

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported earlier that month that Mark Reynolds went through a similar experience, receiving no offers then getting four minor league contract offers on the same day. It was, according to Stark, a free agent tale “I’ve heard a lot.”

Reliever Brad Brach said he was told by teams that they were using algorithms to judge players. He, too, received minor league contract offers around the same time,’s Jordan Bastian reported. Brach ended up having to wait until March to sign a major league deal with the Cubs.

Let’s also not forget that the owners were found to have colluded in the 1980’s as the MLBPA filed three grievances. There have been many rumblings of collusion since then, but nothing substantive. It is a notoriously difficult offense to prove. Additionally, the Braves’ front office was embroiled in a scandal not all that long ago as former GM John Coppolella broke rules concerning the signing of international players. Coppolella resigned from his position, then a month later was banned for life from Major League Baseball following an investigation.

Again, what Anthopoulos said isn’t evidence of collusion. It is, however, suspicious and the union is doing its due diligence looking into the matter. That’s all that can really be said at the moment.

Update (10:48 PM ET): Anthopoulos has released a statement:

Aaron Judge hits 18th homer of season, Yankees beat Mariners 10-2

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SEATTLE (AP) Aaron Judge homered for the third time in two games, Anthony Volpe and Greg Allen also went deep and the New York Yankees stretched their winning streak to four with a 10-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Judge hit a towering fly ball on the first pitch of the seventh inning from reliever Darren McCaughan that carried just enough to clear the fence in left-center field, even if it would not have been a homer at Yankee Stadium.

It was the 18th of the season for Judge, who hit a pair of homers in the series opener on Monday night.

While Judge hitting another homer will get the headlines, it was Volpe’s long ball that broke open the game. With two outs in the third inning, Seattle starter Logan Gilbert caught too much of the plate with a 1-2 slider and Volpe drove the pitch 413 feet for a three-run shot and a 6-0 lead. It was Volpe’s eighth homer of the season and snapped a 2-for-22 slide for the rookie.

Allen, filling in for injured center fielder Harrison Bader, hit his first of the season leading off the fourth inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa also had a key two-run single in the first inning as the Yankees took advantage of an error to give starter Nestor Cortes a 3-0 advantage before he took the mound.

Kiner-Falefa had another two-run single in the ninth. New York has scored at least 10 runs in three straight games for the first time since Sept. 15-17, 2020.

Cortes (5-2) mostly cruised through five innings, allowing two runs and five hits with six strikeouts. Ty France and Teoscar Hernández had RBI doubles in the fifth inning. Judge nearly stole another hit from Hernández after robbing him of a homer on Monday, but his diving attempt at Hernández’s liner fell for a double.

Gilbert (3-3) lasted just four innings for the second time this season. The five earned runs allowed were a season-high and the four strikeouts matched a season-low.


Seattle catcher Tom Murphy and manager Scott Servais were both ejected by plate umpire Brian Walsh in the sixth inning. Murphy was ejected after yelling toward first base umpire C.B. Bucknor following a check-swing that was called a strike. Servais argued the decision to eject Murphy and was quickly tossed by Walsh. It was the second ejection this season for Servais.


Yankees: Bader (hamstring) was placed on the 10-day IL after leaving Monday’s game in the third inning injuring his right hamstring running out an infield single. OF Franchy Cordero was recalled.

Mariners: McCaughan was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to add a long reliever to the bullpen. RHP Juan Then was optioned to Tacoma. It was Seattle’s first roster move in 24 days.


Yankees: RHP Clarke Schmidt (2-5, 5.58) took the loss despite allowing only one earned run over five innings in his last start against Baltimore. Schmidt has gone at least five inning in five of his last seven starts.

Mariners: RHP George Kirby (5-4, 3.43) was knocked around for seven earned runs and four home runs allowed in his last start against Pittsburgh. Both matched career highs.

AP MLB: and