Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox will designate outfielder Marlon Byrd for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will make his first major league start since Tommy John surgery this afternoon against the Nationals. Byrd was informed of the decision following last night’s game.
Byrd was acquired from the Cubs for Michael Bowden and Hunter Cervenka after Jacoby Ellsbury went down with a subluxed right shoulder in April. The 34-year-old began his Red Sox tenure with a six-game hitting streak, but his production tailed off from there and his playing time has suffered recently due to the emergence of Daniel Nava and Scott Podsednik and the return of Darnell McDonald.
Byrd batted .270/.286/.320 with one homer, two doubles and a .606 OPS over 105 plate appearances with Boston and is hitting just .210/.243/.245 overall this season. The Cubs are still on the hook for all but $400,000 of his $6.5 million salary for 2012.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.