Even though Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero and Brad Lidge remain available in free agency, much of the recent closer talk has been regarding trade possibilities. Now perhaps Brandon League can be added to the list of available closers that includes Andrew Bailey and maybe Joel Hanrahan.
According to FOXSports.com, the Mariners are getting hits on League and may choose to move him closer to spring training. Such a move could hinge on the Mariners’ pursuit of Prince Fielder; if the Mariners land Fielder, they may prefer to keep League and make the club as competitive as possible. If not, then there’s really no sense of having a $5 million closer on a 65-win team.
FOXSports reports that the Dodgers are one of the teams that have asked about League, though they’re not believed to have serious interest.
League will be eligible for free agency for the first time after next season. He had a 2.79 ERA and was 37-for-42 saving games for Seattle in 2011, his first year as a closer. He won nine games and finished with a 3.42 ERA in 79 innings in 2010.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.