Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Should Aroldis Chapman have been suspended for more than 30 games for choking his girlfriend and firing off a gun eight times in anger? You don't even need to ask that question, as it's a clear "yes." However, MLB's new domestic violence policy only allows commissioner Rob Manfred the power to suspend players for as long as the Players Association is willing to allow him to -- this is a joint agreement that the two sides will work together on, not Manfred handing out whatever punishments he feels like. The MLBPA already had motivation to protect Chapman, whose free agency could have been pushed back with a lengthy suspension -- it's likely they would have appealed anything that caused that to happen.
Too lenient, and MLB -- and their new policy -- look weak and not serious about domestic violence. If they suspend Chapman for what the Players Association considers to be too many games, though, then there is the threat of an appeal, one MLB could lose considering Chapman is the first player to go through this process. The 30-game suspension seems to be in the sweet spot of being a significant chunk of the season -- Chapman won't be eligible until a week of May has passed the Yankees by -- but not so significant that the MLBPA felt an appeal necessary. MLB gets to send a message and set a precedent that will help them hand out future punishments -- Chapman wasn't arrested, there was no video, there were no charges and yet, he was suspended anyway -- and everyone except Chapman looks the better for it.
Chapman also loses around $2 million for this suspension, and one hopes the Yankees take that money and donate it to an organization focused on victims of domestic violence. It's not like the Yankees are surprised by the suspension -- they traded for Chapman specifically because the threat of a suspension had cut into the asking price. They already benefited once from Chapman's behavior, and that lost salary could do a lot more good in the hands of, say, Joe Torre's Safe At Home Foundation than it would in the Steinbrenner's pockets. It's your money, boys, but if anyone else (rightfully) looks bad in this, it's you.
- The Brewers are denying that Hank the Ballpark Pup is an impostor, but they also sent us a weird response when asked about it, so you be the judge.
- Marlins' reliever Carter Capps is going for a second opinion on his elbow after a worrisome MRI.
- Baseball America releases an annual supplement with the 31st-ranked prospect in every organization. They took their eight years of supplements to build a team out of 31st prospects, and Mookie Betts is its clear star.
- It's expected that Lazaro Armenteros will sign with the Padres. If that names sounds familiar, that's because "Lazarito" is the free agent whose representative threatened Charles Hairston's life.
- Help Grant Brisbee pick the best bet in baseball this year, and then we can all be rich!
- The Royals extended Salvador Perez's contract, so now it's no longer a badge of shame his (former) agent needs to wear around. Well, okay, it still is, but at least Perez is in a better place now.
- Chris Sale is also on an extension that's underpaying him, but he's not in the same position Perez was.
- The Orioles tried to get Nick Markakis back from the Braves. Spoiler: it didn't work.