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MLBits: Sano Assault Allegations, O’s Still Talking Machado, Bad Teams Deals, Pirates Prospects, More

MLB News and Rumors

Unfortunately, we have to start today’s MLBits off with yet another terribly sad, disappointing, and somehow-way-too-common allegation of assault.


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  • Here’s a story posted on Twitter by photographer Betsy Bissen, who alleges that Twins star third baseman Miguel Sano assaulted her in 2015:

  • I hope you took the time to actually read her entire statement/story, because she deserves at least that much. But, in short, she alleges that after an autograph signing at a mall, Sano – having known Bissen from her time photographing the Twins – grabbed her by the wrist and tried to pull her inside a bathroom/attempted to kiss her. Bissen also says she continuously said “No,” and tried pulling away for “ten minutes,” as her wrist was hurting and she was screaming. I’m very happy that people are finding the strength and courage to share their stories (there has long been a price for being willing to share), and yet I’m also so deeply saddened and discouraged by just how many stories there are.
  • After the tweet was posted, the Twins released a statement saying they’re now aware of the allegations, which they take very seriously, but have no further comment until more information is gathered. MLB Spokesman Mike Teevan quickly announced (via ESPN) that MLB will be investigating the allegations. Miguel Sano denied everything in a statement: “I unequivocally deny the allegation made against me today – it never happened,” Sano said in the statement. “I have the utmost respect for women, especially those working in professional sports, and I deeply sympathize with anyone who has experienced sexual harassment. There is no place for it in our society.”

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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
  • And now, of course, we’re put in a position to either confront the fact that baseball is dealing with a case of assault and that the player in question is lying about it, or that someone is fabricating an entire story for reasons that would be entirely unclear. We’ll do our best to keep our minds open – as I hope you do – but from where we stand right now, we believe it is important not to do anything that discourages victims of assault and harassment from coming forward.
  • Reminder: MLB and the Players Association have reached an agreement on domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, wherein the Commissioner can decide appropriate levels of discipline – with no minimum or maximum penalty – regardless of legal proceedings
  • In today’s Bullets, Brett pointed out that Hardball Talk has been sharing the top 25 baseball stories of 2017, and, at the time, they had gotten to just #19. Since then, however, they’ve released a few more and I wanted to get them in front of you, because they’re pretty great reads:
  • I’m guessing #12 will be that time Craig Calcaterra threw some hilarious shade at baseball’s last Commissioner with the title “Four Greats and Bug Selig Inducted into the HOF.”
  • This might be more of a Lukewarm Stove-type-thing than an MLBit, but given that we already touched on Manny Machado rumors earlier today, I thought we could just drop this right here:

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  • If you recall, the Orioles were previously rumored to have a soft deadline on the Machado Madness back before Christmas, but, well, it appears that deadline was quite soft. I’m guessing the fact that they’d be silly not to trade Machado right now played a role. Hey, maybe the Cubs can trade Kris Bryant for him, so Machado can play 3B. If you’re the Orioles do you accept that deal??!?!?!?!lOl!!?!?!
  • At MLB Trade Rumors, Tim Dierkes runs down five past examples of bad teams signing big free agent deals, and the Cubs appear twice, once good (Jon Lester) and once bad (Edwin Jackson). Obviously, the Lester deal has worked out (and then some, as we’ve recently discussed), but the Edwin Jackson deal is a tough one to dissect. OBVIOUSLY, he was a pretty big bust and never turned into the useful rotation piece the Cubs desired, but if he would have been good enough to warrant a rotation spot for four years (or dealt in the middle of his deal), the Cubs would’ve been fine with how much they spent at the time they spent it. Failing to clear that extremely low bar on a $50+ million contract is tough to predict. But a miss is a miss.
  • The Pirates’ Top 25 Prospects (according to FanGraphs) have been released, and Double-A righty Mitch Keller takes the top spot. Keller, 21, comes with a 60 future value, which is higher than anyone in the Cubs’ system (Aramis Ademan and Adbert Alzolay are both 50s). Keller was pretty great in his brief Double-A debut last season (3.12 ERA, 2.50 FIP), striking out 31.7% of batters while walking just 7.8%. My bet is that he starts the year out in Double-A, but has a chance to reach the Majors as soon as this coming season. And if the Pirates do right in their potential trades of Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, and Josh Harrison, they could witness a pretty quick turnaround after 2018 (especially with that upcoming free agent class). Gear up.

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  • And finally, this is kinda silly, but I thought it was funny (and I love when the baseball fan gets into the “balk” rules):


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.