Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown has been dealing with a sore left Achilles since last week. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Brown is recovering “slowly” from the injury and added that it “could be unlikely” that he will be ready for Opening Day, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
In the event Brown starts the season on the disabled list, the Phillies will likely carry Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Danks, or Brian Bogusevic on the 25-man roster. The Phillies’ starting outfield on Opening Day could include Ben Revere, Darin Ruf, and Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera.
Brown, 27, was among baseball’s worst hitters last season, slashing .235/.285/.349 with 10 home runs and 63 RBI in 512 plate appearances.
The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli reports that the Nationals will pay their minor leaguers $300 per week through the end of June. MLB agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through today, May 31. Many teams have extended that by at least a month. Some, like the Marlins, Padres, and Mariners, have committed to paying their minor leaguers beyond that.
Ghiroli also notes that the Nationals cut more than 30 minor leaguers, as there will almost certainly not be a minor league season this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is interesting that the Nationals are only offering $300 per week as opposed to the standard $400 weekly. If we assume that the Nationals’ organization has 275 minor leaguers, they will save $110,000 in August by offering $100 less. The Nationals are coming off of winning a championship. While the Nationals haven’t experienced as much of a boon as other champions due to the unfortunate timing, their owner still has a net worth north of $4 billion. The Nats’ franchise value is approximately $2 billion, per Forbes. No, it’s not all liquid, but $110,000 is change that gets lost between the couch cushions for this and many other franchises.
Players are taking note of which teams take care of their players and other personnel, and which are not. The teams that continued to pay minor leaguers, kept staff paid and on board, and helped in other ways will have a better time going forward of attracting and retaining talent both in terms of players and front office personnel (including scouts). While teams should pay their players out of a sense of morality, there is a competitive advantage to doing so as well.