Mariners official: “We’re not looking to trade” Brad Miller

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Though the Mariners had offered shortstop Brad Miller as part of a package in an effort to acquire outfielder Matt Kemp from the Dodgers recently, Mariners officials contend the club is not actively looking to move him. One official said explicitly, “We’re not looking to trade him,” reports Bob Dutton of The News Tribune.

The Kemp deal stalled, Dutton writes, when the Dodgers insisted on receiving either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton along with Miller and others. Kemp was eventually traded to the Padres.

As for Miller, there were even some rumors that the Mariners would consider him as an outfield option if they failed to make another deal. They have made a three-year offer to free agent Melky Cabrera and could still have others, such as Michael Morse, on their radar. The Mariners were also interested in trading for Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, which would obviously displace Miller if he did not switch locations in such a trade.

For now, Miller is likely to be the Mariners’ starting shortstop on Opening Day after batting .221/.288/.365 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 411 plate appearances last season. Should Miller not get the nod, Chris Taylor would.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.