Asdrubal Cabrera’s choice: Stay with the Nationals or get paid to play shortstop

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J.J. Hardy bypassing free agency to sign a three-year, $40 million contract extension with the Orioles yesterday has further weakened the always shallow pool of free agent shortstops.

All of which makes this interesting: Asdrubal Cabrera, who’s been a shortstop for most of his career, indicated that he’d like to re-sign with the Nationals after playing second base for Washington down the stretch.

Cabrera’s agent will probably get in his ear and point out that he’d be one of the only veteran shortstops on the market and might be able to coax some team into overpaying, but here’s what Cabrera told James Wagner of the Washington Post:

I really enjoy it to play with this team. Great guys. Good front office. I was really happy to be here and be in this moment with the team. I would love to stay here. A lot of good guys. A good team. I would love to stay here. But it’s not my decision.

Wagner specifically asked Cabrera if he’d be willing to play second base to remain with the Nationals and he replied “I don’t know, it depends” while mentioning wanting to win a World Series.

Cabrera is 29 years old and defensive metrics no longer think he’s much of a shortstop, so second base is where most teams should want him, but supply and demand may dictate remaining at shortstop and getting paid a whole bunch to do so.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.