Jose Contreras and the Phillies have finalized the two-year contract extension that was reported over the weekend. He’ll get $5.5 million for two seasons and according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com the Phillies also have a team option for 2013.
Based on his 2010 performance alone Contreras is certainly worth the investment, as he thrived in his first full season as a reliever by going 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio in 57 innings. However, he seemed to wear down somewhat in the second half and turns 39 years old next month.
Any multi-year commitment to a 39-year-old pitcher is a huge risk and the presence of a third-year team option is sort of amusing. What are the chances of the Phillies wanting to exercise their option on a 41-year-old Contreras come 2013?
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.