If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals will make another attempt to sign starter Jordan Zimmermann to a contract extension. The two sides had previously engaged in extension talks but agreed on only a two-year deal back in January, paying him $7.5 million in 2014 and $16.5 million for 2015. The right-hander can become a free agent after the season.
Current free agents Jon Lester and Max Scherzer are each expected to earn contracts of at least six years in the area of $150 to $200 million, which would be models for a long-term deal for Zimmermann. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.00 ERA over the last four seasons, a mark bested by only seven other pitchers (min. 500 innings).
In the event no progress can be made on the extension front, the Nationals would still be open to trading Zimmermann, but they would prefer to keep him around in D.C.
Francys Romero reports that, according to his sources, Dodgers pitcher David Price will pay $1,000 out of his own money to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the 40-man roster during the month of June.
That’s a pretty amazing gesture from Price. It’s also extraordinarily telling that such a gesture is even necessary.
Under a March agreement with Major League Baseball, minor leaguers have been receiving financial assistance that is set to expire at the end of May. Baseball America reported earlier this week that the Dodgers will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week past May 31, but it is unclear how long such payments would go. Even if one were to assume that the payments will continue throughout the month of June, however, it’s worth noting that $400 a week is not a substantial amount of money for players to live on, on which to support families, and on which to train and remain ready to play baseball if and when they are asked to return.
Price’s generosity should be lauded here, but this should not be considered a feel-good story overall. Major League Baseball, which has always woefully underpaid its minor leaguers has left them in a vulnerable position once again.