Juan C. Rodriguez of the Florida Sun Sentinel reports that “Javier Vazquez has told associates he would love a return engagement in the National League, particularly with the Florida Marlins due in part to the proximity to his native Puerto Rico.”
Rodriguez notes that Vazquez also “has a relationship” with Puerto Rico-born manager Edwin Rodriguez and “several members of the Marlins front office” were working for the Expos when Vazquez began his career in Montreal.
And it’s seemingly a good fit from an on-field perspective too, as Vazquez has fared much better in the NL and is a fly-ball pitcher who would benefit from Florida’s power-suppressing ballpark. Beyond that Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest has previously said that he’s looking to add a veteran starter to the rotation.
So what’s the holdup? Well, according to Rodriguez “he’s already received some hefty offers, the kind the Marlins would have trouble meeting.” Vazquez is coming off a three-year, $34.5 million contract, but had a career-worst 5.32 ERA in 157 innings for the Yankees and at age 35 seems unlikely to get more than a two-year deal.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.