Orioles manager Buck Showalter meeting with Colby Rasmus on Saturday

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We heard earlier this week that Orioles manager Buck Showalter was planning to visit free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus in Alabama in the near future and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun hears that the meeting is set to go down today.

Showalter isn’t there as part of a recruiting effort, but rather to get a handle on whether Rasmus would be a good fit in Baltimore:

Showalter is meeting with Rasmus to hear what the 28-year-old outfielder has to say and to determine whether he’ll mesh with the current Orioles. There’s no question Rasmus has talent, but he’s shown it only in spurts and he hasn’t been able to maintain consistency. He’s been labeled an underachiever, a brooder and difficult to coach.

Showalter doesn’t care about labels – he’s had plenty of labels slapped on him over the years. But he is insistent on finding players that will buy into his team-first, us-against-the-world, fundamentally sound mentality.

Ultimately, even if Showalter signs off on Rasmus, it doesn’t mean the free agent becomes an Oriole. There are still contractual issues to be worked out and Rasmus could always choose a more lucrative deal elsewhere. Plus the Orioles are eyeing other outfielders as well. But if Showalter is in, a one-year, make-good deal with Rasmus could be enticing for both sides.

It’s hard to blame Showalter for going the extra mile here. A former top prospect with the Cardinals, Rasmus has been maddeningly inconsistent during his career, showing flashes of brilliance at times and looking lost at others. After batting .276 with 22 home runs and an .840 OPS in 2013, he hit just .225 with 18 home runs and a .735 OPS this past season. Strikeouts are a major issue for him, but he has pop in his bat and just turned 28 last August. Assuming Showalter likes the cut of his jib, a match could make sense for all involved. It’s believed that Rasmus is looking at a one-year deal in the range of $6 to $8 million.

Report: David Price to pay each Dodgers minor leaguer $1,000 out of his own pocket

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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.