In case you missed it, MLB and the MLBPA re-opened discussions yesterday after a six-week hiatus and...nothing happened. MLB remains unwilling to discuss the core issues important to players, such as raising the minimum salary, but did offer in its proposal an improvement to the way players in the second and third years of their MLB careers are compensated, as well as incentives for organizations to not manipulate the service time of top prospects. Jeff Passan has the meat-and-potatoes details, and Susan Slusser provides some commentary for the SF Chronicle, but the tl;dr version is the two sides remain far apart, a spring training postponement seems almost inevitable, and the threat of the regular season not beginning on time grows likelier by the day. But hey, both sides seem on board with the universal DH, at least.
Around the League:
- This got a little buried under the labor negotiations news, but the Atlantic League is quietly walking back two of the major rule changes implemented last year under MLB’s new partnership with the league: no more electronic strike zone (also known as “robo-umps”), and the mound will be moved back to its original distance. In addition to the Baseball America story already linked, R.J. Anderson has an article about it on CBS Sports, or a thoughtful Twitter thread if that’s the amount of brain space you have today.
- I read this Seiya Suzuki profile in The Athletic (which mentions the Mariners are one of the teams that has made a pitch to his camp, so that’s good), and now I want the Mariners to sign him, because anyone who appreciates a good plate of nachos is my kind of people. Cue the Michael Scott “I am ready to get hurt again” gif.
- If you want more Seiya content, R.J. Anderson has even more drool-worthy details.
- The Royals are signing oft-injured reliever Arodys Vizcaíno to a minor-league deal.
- Former Mariner Ryan Weber signed an MiLB deal with the Yankees.
- Speaking of former Mariners, the Diamondbacks picked up a pair of them on minor-league deals: OF Braden Bishop and RHP Keynan Middleton.
- More former Mariners, although this time from the coaching side: long-time Mariners coach Daren Brown will be managing the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp this season.
- Out of former Mariners for the day, so a former Mill Creek resident will have to suffice: Travis Snider has announced he’s retiring.
- The Brewers have consistently had one of the best bullpens in the majors over the past couple of years, but they’re reportedly in the market for a new bullpen coach.
- The Orioles are moving the fences back at Camden Yards to try to solve their ballpark’s homer problem, but as our friends at Camden Chat note, that doesn’t solve their bigger, bad-pitcher problem.
- Finally, someone who loathes the word “dinger” as much as I do.
In Sue Bird news:
Run it back!