Cliff Pennington avoids arbitration, agrees to $3.275 million deal with D’Backs

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The Diamondbacks and infielder Cliff Pennington have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.275 million, per a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Pennington was entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

Pennington, 30, batted .254/.340/.350 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 201 plate appearances for the D’Backs last season. He spent his time all around the infield, logging 180 1/3 defensive innings at shortstop, 137 1/3 innings at second base, and 70 1/3 innings at third base, so he will provide the club some versatility in the upcoming season.

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.