From Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun …
The Orioles have focused their search for outfield help on Colby Rasmus, so much so that manager Buck Showalter is set to meet with the free-agent outfielder in the near future, according to an industry source.
That meeting will take place sometime “over the next few days” in Alabama, where Rasmus grew up and spends his winters. Rasmus has flashed tremendous production at various points in his six-year big league career — he was a 4.0 fWAR player in 2010 with the Cardinals and a 4.8 fWAR player in 2013 with the Blue Jays — but consistency has been an issue and so has Colby’s clubhouse demeanor, specifically in St. Louis.
The Orioles want to be sure the 28-year-old outfielder is going to be a good fit before they make him a formal offer. Encina says they’re considering signing Rasmus to a one-year contract in the $6-8 million range.
In the meantime, let’s get a documentary crew down to Alabama to film this Showalter-Rasmus meetup. Whoever produced this video from June is officially hired …
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.