**Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote yesterday that MLB has quietly been slashing money for international players, while the draft bonus pools are rising. He points out that the average international pools have been rising by 1.2 percent. However, teams previously could sign six players for $50,000 or less without having those signings count towards their bonus pools. That is no longer allowed, which means that each team will have $300,000 less to spend on international players. For a team like the Pirates, who have a lot of success with smaller bonus players, that extra money is huge.
**Jedd Gyorko signed a six year extension yesterday, guaranteeing him $35 M for the next five years, starting in 2015. By comparison, Starling Marte got $31 M over the next six years, with 2014 included. That means Gyorko got $4 M more guaranteed, while having the same amount of service time, which seems crazy when you look at the two players side-by-side (h/t Dave Cameron) and see how Marte has been considerably better so far.
**Jeff Passan wrote a great article about MLB’s blackout policy, and how it is hurting an already eroding fan base. Passan points out that MLB has been fighting to keep the blackouts in place, even though this actually hurts fans in places like Las Vegas, Buffalo, Iowa, and other areas that are blacked out by six or more teams. On a related note, Jeff Passan is my spirit animal.