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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:24 PM

Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — While the New York Yankees set another salary record, the Houston Astros had the lowest average in the major leagues in 14 years and the attention of the players’ union.

The overall big league average rose 5.4 percent this season to a record $3.39 million, according to the annual report released Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association. The increase was the steepest since 2006.

The Yankees had the highest average for the 15th consecutive season at $8.17 million, breaking the mark of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009. The Los Angeles Dodgers were second at $7.82 million.

Houston’s average of $549,603 was the smallest since the 1999 Kansas City Royals at $534,460. The Miami Marlins were 29th at $830,069, down from $3.77 million in 2012, when they ranked 10th.

Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement requires a team to use revenue-sharing money it receives “in an effort to improve its performance on the field.” The Marlins had been required to raise player payroll annually from 2010-12 under an agreement between MLB and the union.

However, the issue is being dealt with under a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that gradually eliminates the 15 teams in the largest markets from receiving revenue sharing and the Astros are 15th. Under that provision, those clubs forfeited 25 percent of the money this year, half in 2014, 75 percent the following year and all in 2016.

“We are watching both clubs closely but were already aware what their 2013 spending would be and that there wasn’t enough there to move beyond acknowledging as much,” new union head Tony Clark wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “With Houston a big factor is their impending ‘market disqualification.’ For Miami, they actually have a long-range plan that suggests they will make the considerations necessary to be compliant.

“That said, both clubs are being monitored and MLB recognizes that there is a potential for a dispute if the clubs do not move in the right direction.”

World Series champion Boston was fourth at $5.46 million, just behind Detroit at $5.53 million. St. Louis, which won the NL pennant, was 10th at $3.75 million.

Tampa Bay had the lowest ranking among the 10 playoff teams and was 24th at $2.13 million.

Among regulars at positions, designated hitters took over from first basemen for the highest average at $10.5 million. First basemen were next at $6.5 million, followed by starting pitchers at $6.3 million, second basemen at $5.8 million, outfielders at $5.6 million, third basemen at $5.2 million, shortstops at $4.5 million, catchers at $4.4 million and relief pitchers at $2.2 million,

Figures are based on Aug. 31 rosters and disabled lists, with 940 players averaging $3,386,212. Major League Baseball, which uses slightly different methods, calculated its average at $3,320,089, an increase of 6.9 percent.

Court: MLB can depose A-Rod’s cousin in drug suit

MIAMI — A Florida appeals court has ruled Major League Baseball can take a deposition from a cousin of Alex Rodriguez as part of the sport’s lawsuit involving banned substances.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled 3-0 Wednesday that A-Rod’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, and another witness must submit to the depositions. The court rejected arguments that MLB’s case against Biogenesis of America and others belonged in federal rather than state court.

MLB claims that Biogenesis violated its agreements with players by providing them with banned performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez denies using banned substances and the players’ union filed a grievance to overturn his 211-game suspension, a case pending before an arbitrator. Thirteen players accepted suspensions of 50-to-65 games.

After Rodriguez in 2009 admitted using PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas, media reports said Sucart obtained the substances for A-Rod.

Rodriguez has sued MLB over its investigation.

Judge Thomas Logue wrote the opinion after hearing the case with Judges Linda Ann Wells and Kevin Emas.

Indians acquire LHP Josh Outman for Drew Stubbs

CLEVELAND — The Indians have acquired left-hander Josh Outman from Colorado for outfielder Drew Stubbs.

The 29-year-old Outman spent most of last season with the Rockies, going 3-0 with a 4.33 ERA in 61 relief appearances. Outman limited left-handed hitters to a .198 average and had a 3.41 ERA in hitter-friendly Coors Field.

The Indians had issues getting out left-handers, a reason they acquired Marc Rzepczynski from St. Louis before the trade deadline.

Outman has a 12-11 career record with a 4.61 ERA 146 games for Oakland and Colorado.

Stubbs, who came to Cleveland in last December’s trade with Cincinnati for Shin-Soo Choo, batted .233 with 10 homers and 17 steals as a part-time player for the Indians. Cleveland’s signing of free agent David Murphy made Stubbs expendable.

Padres acquire Jackson from Astros, who get Guzman

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres have acquired infielder Ryan Jackson from the Houston Astros in exchange for infielder-outfielder Jesus Guzman.

The Astros had acquired Jackson off outright waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 20. He played mostly shortstop and hit.278 with three home runs and 34 RBIs in 121 games for Triple-A Memphis in 2013.

He made his big league debut for the Cardinals in 2012 and played in 29 games in two seasons for St. Louis.

Guzman hit .226 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs in 126 games for the Padres last season. He spent parts of four seasons with San Diego.

Braves acquire catcher Ryan Doumit from Twins

ATLANTA — Looking for catching depth after losing Brian McCann to free agency, the Atlanta Braves have acquired Ryan Doumit from the Minnesota Twins for left-hander Sean Gilmartin.

The 32-year-old Doumit could share time with Evan Gattis, a rookie last season who is McCann’s projected replacement as Atlanta’s primary starter.

Doumit played his first seven seasons with Pittsburgh, then spent two years in Minnesota. He hit .247 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs this year, when he started only 43 games at catcher and also played in the outfield.

Gilmartin, the 28th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, was 3-8 with a 5.74 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett last season.

The trade was announced Wednesday.

Rockies acquire LHP Franklin Morales from Red Sox

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies have reacquired left-hander Franklin Morales from the Boston Red Sox for versatile infielder Jonathan Herrera.

It was the second trade the Rockies orchestrated on Wednesday..

Morales is coming off a season in which he went 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 games for the World Series champion Red Sox. He was a member of the Rockies when they made their run to the World Series in 2007, only to be swept by Boston.

Colorado also picked up minor-league reliever Chris Martin in the deal.

The 29-year-old Herrera hit .292 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 195 at-bats for Colorado this year. He played second base, third, shortstop and two games in left field.

This has been a busy offseason for the Rockies, who recently acquired lefty Brett Anderson from the Oakland Athletics.

 

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