Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times breaks down the international bonus pool game undertaken each year by major league clubs. The Mariners, for instance, were able to free some extra spending capacity in the recent Austin Jackson deal, taking a slot from a team (the Cubs) that had already committed to exceed its own limit and take on the resulting penalties. It’s a good breakdown of a somewhat convoluted system for those who wonder how it works.
Here are a few notes from out west to end the evening:
- There appears to be some mutual interest in a continued relationship between the Giants and recently-acquired righty Mike Leake, as Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports on Twitter. Manager Bruce Bochy likes what he’s seen from the 27-year-old workhorse, who has pitched to a 3.16 in his 25 2/3 frames with his new club. And it appears that Leake is pleased thus far with his new environs. Of course, he figures to receive a wide range of interest on the coming free agent market. Though he’s never been a dominant pitcher, Leake offers a nice package of youth, health, and consistently solid production.
- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau discusses his latest comeback effort with MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby, saying that he understands the need to careful given his history of concussions. Those unfortunate injuries changed his career trajectory, of course, but he’s still a useful big league player at age 34. Morneau says he’s increasingly worked to take excellent care of his body as he’s gotten older, but like most regulars has always played through typical bumps and bruises. He will return to the open market after the season unless both he and Colorado exercise a $9MM mutual option.