Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets have checked in with free agent reliever Fernando Rodney as well as many other relievers, hoping that prices had fallen “way down”. An executive Sherman spoke to said that he wouldn’t classify anything as “hot”.
The Mets’ bullpen is comprised of a lot of young arms, including 29-year-old closer Bobby Parnell. However, Parnell is recovering from a herniated disk his neck which knocked him out of the final two months of the 2013 season. He underwent surgery in September, but recent reports have indicated that the right-hander looks “great”. Still, it’s always good to have another option in the event Parnell can’t stay on the field or has lost effectiveness.
Rodney, who turns 37 years old on March 18, is coming off of two great seasons with the Rays. In 2012, he wound up fifth in AL Cy Young voting after he finished with a 0.60 ERA and 48 saves in 74 2/3 innings of work. Last year, he finished at 3.38 with 37 saves in 66 2/3 innings. Rodney’s strikeout rates in each of the past two seasons (27%, 28%) have both been the highest of his career.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.