MLB Responds To Senate Inquiry, Judge Sues Maris, Juan Soto Is Worth All Your Prospects, Chapman, Ohtani, More

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred giving baseball a bad look at every turn is like death and taxes at this point.

Manfred, MLB Responds to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

On Friday morning, Commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball submitted a 17-page response to members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. The 17-page letter is in response to a request for information about the treatment of minor league players made by four senators – Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., And Mike Lee, R-Utah — asked Manfred how MLB’s antitrust exemption pays minor leaguers and other areas of baseball’s business.

Those senators also submitted a similar request for information to the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, which submitted its response earlier this month. Minor League Defenders executive director Harry Marino claimed baseball’s antitrust exemption was the because of how MLB can force its players to sign the Minor League Players Uniform Contract, which pays minor leaguers $400 a week in the lower levels of minor league baseball and $700 a week a times they reach Triple-A if they do. These salaries are also only paid during the minor league season, leaving players considered professionals in that industry uncompensated during certain parts of the year.

Rob Manfred disagreed with the idea that minor leaguers weren’t getting a living wage during the All-Star Game festivities last week, continuing to do whatever he can to ensure that himself and baseball sound deaf at every opportunity.

I’ll attach a thread with the 17-page response for you to see, but here’s the takeaway: Rob Manfred disagrees with the premise of the claims. Manfred believes minor leaguers are paid a living wage and that MLB’s antitrust exemption ensures players get the pay they get rather than suppressing their earning potential.

The next step in this process is likely a hearing on Capitol Hill. Evan Drellich Reporting that a spokesperson for the Senate committee “definitely” plans to have a hearing. September or October are target dates on the calendar, which is perfect since it’s the last time of year MLB wants bad press.

Here’s a thread with MLB’s full 17-page response:

No. 39 for Judge Ends Pitching Duel in the Bronx

The Yankees and Royals found themselves in a pitching duel Thursday night in the Bronx. Kansas City’s Brady Singer faced the Yankees, holding them scoreless for seven innings of work while giving up a hit and striking out 10, and walking one.

Yankees starter Jameson Taillon struck out eight Royals and allowed no runs on four hits in six innings. The relievers were equally impressive, with Ron Marinaccio throwing two perfect innings in relief from Taillon with three strikeouts and Clay Holmes holding the Royals scoreless in the ninth inning despite walking a pair of Yankees.

Dylan Coleman pitched a perfect eighth inning and struck out two in relief from Singer for the Royals, but Scott Barlow wasn’t as lucky as the other four pitchers in that game. Barlow had to face Aaron Judge in the bottom of the ninth round, and well, here’s what happened:

Judge drilled the No. 39 home run of the season to give the Yankees an outright victory over the Royals. Last month, I mentioned Aaron Judge’s potential run for the Yankees’ all-time home run record, but now it seems like something could actually happen.

It took 97 games for Aaron Judge to hit 39 home runs this season, an average of 0.40 home runs per game, or about one home run every two or three games. The Yankees have 62 games left and Judge has played in all but three of their first 100 games, so let’s assume he stays healthy and plays 60 of those 62 games. If he hits homers at the same rate in those last 60 games, he’ll hit 24, which puts him at 63 homers.

That math leads us to watch Judge potentially break Roger Maris’ single-season record of 61 in the final week of the season, which will be a fantastic story to follow. It would also tie Judge with Sammy Sosa (1999) for sixth place on the MLB single-season home run list.

Don’t think too much, give Washington whatever they want for Juan Soto

The MLB trade deadline is always a good time and comes with a lot of triumph and heartbreak. Triumph for the suitors whose acquisition at the deadline sees them take the leap and ends with a World Series banner that will fly far longer than the careers of any prospects dropped in the deal. Triumph for the rebuilding of clubs that return a player for a set of prospects that eventually become the cornerstones of their next successful era.

There’s the flip side, of course, the heartache for teams that don’t win it all and lose valuable prospects that could help them down the line. There are also teams that return a proven product for a host of players that turn out to be nothing in the long run.

It’s deadline day fun, right? Prospecting and analyzing every inch of FanGraphs, deciding who was the winner or who was the loser even if he didn’t really know for years to come.

Then there are the deals that weren’t done because the cost was perceived to be too high. Some of these offers will live as stains on the resumes of general managers and scouting staff forever. Tim Nicolai has written a fascinating story about teams that failed to pull the trigger on a player comparable to Juan Soto’s perceived market value when the Marlins bought the 24-year-old superstar and eventual Hall of Famer.

I’ll let you read it for yourself, but I’ll give you my conclusion: there is NO set of prospects that isn’t worth a generational talent like Juan Soto. NOTHING. ZERO.

Ragtag…

  • Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman has been raking lately, and his .459 batting average since July 14 is the best in baseball:
  • Shohei Ohtani continues to do Shohei Ohtani things in Anaheim:
  • Julio Rodríguez probably has the AL Rookie of the Year locked down at this point, but the NL Rookie of the Year is more of a conversation. Here’s where MLB.com has the candidates so far:
  • Kyle Schwarber continues to brew, hitting his 32nd homer of the season last night:
  • Me parrying the first hole of the day, then slicing my drive on the second hole into oblivion and taking a six:

Norman D. Briggs