HBT’s Trade Deadline Wrapup

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The non-waiver trade deadline hit at 4PM EDT today. It was pretty uneventful compared to years past, with lots of chatter but very few deals. Here’s what we had go down today before the non-waiver trade deadline:

Before today, we had the following in the two weeks leading up to the deadline:

Not the most active deadline in recent memory. There are reasons for this. The second wild card and greater overall parity in baseball puts more teams in the mindset of contenders, leading to a profound lack of teams selling off parts wholesale. The Cubs did it. The Astros. That’s pretty much it.

Also limiting trades: the lack of teams unloading players who are poised for free agency in cost-savings moves. Teams are locking up their talent earlier and earlier these days, meaning fewer cost-avoidance deals. Teams also have more money thanks to escalating TV contracts.  All of this makes for a much less liquid trading market than we’re used to seeing.

That doesn’t mean the deals are done, of course. Between now and the end of August teams can still complete trades of players who have cleared waivers. Trades of any kind which are completed before August 31 will allow the player in question to appear on a team’s postseason roster.

No matter how the trades come, however, keep a tab open with HBT at all times, as we’ll give you everything you need to know of the comings and goings of players along with our usual wall-to-wall baseball coverage.

Nationals to pay minor leaguers $300 — not $400 — per week through June

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The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli reports that the Nationals will pay their minor leaguers $300 per week through the end of June. MLB agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through today, May 31. Many teams have extended that by at least a month. Some, like the Marlins, Padres, and Mariners, have committed to paying their minor leaguers beyond that.

Ghiroli also notes that the Nationals cut more than 30 minor leaguers, as there will almost certainly not be a minor league season this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is interesting that the Nationals are only offering $300 per week as opposed to the standard $400 weekly. If we assume that the Nationals’ organization has 275 minor leaguers, they will save $110,000 in August by offering $100 less. The Nationals are coming off of winning a championship. While the Nationals haven’t experienced as much of a boon as other champions due to the unfortunate timing, their owner still has a net worth north of $4 billion. The Nats’ franchise value is approximately $2 billion, per Forbes. No, it’s not all liquid, but $110,000 is change that gets lost between the couch cushions for this and many other franchises.

Players are taking note of which teams take care of their players and other personnel, and which are not. The teams that continued to pay minor leaguers, kept staff paid and on board, and helped in other ways will have a better time going forward of attracting and retaining talent both in terms of players and front office personnel (including scouts). While teams should pay their players out of a sense of morality, there is a competitive advantage to doing so as well.