With nine days remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline in baseball, Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray looks like the big-name pitcher most likely to be dealt in the coming days.
The 27-year-old Gray has gotten hot at the right time, posting a 1.62 ERA in his last five starts.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves remain well-positioned to acquire Gray, given the strength of their farm systems.
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The Houston Astros have long been rumored as a potential landing spot for the A’s right-hander, but Rosenthal suggested they might go after an elite reliever instead and stick with their current rotation.
2021, the final year outlined in the current CBA, is expected to also include a series in Mexico during the spring months. In addition, each year of the deal will include spring training trips to Mexico (2018 and 2020) and Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic (2019).
On top of all those plans the league is also planning post-World Series tours in Japan (2018 and 2020) plus either either Asia or Mexico in 2019.
Players will be receiving compensation for the extra travel and special events, starting at $5,000 for international spring training appearances, $60,000 for in-season trips to Asia or England, and $15,000 for in-season trips to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
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On top of the regular-season money, any post-season trips will pay out $100,000 for a stint in Japan, $50,000 for anywhere else in Asia, and $25,000 for a tour of Mexico.
The league making such a strong push into international markets (mimicking NBA and NFL strategies in the last decade) is smart if they hope to grow the game further, and paying the players handsomely for the extra travel responsibilities is also smart.