Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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Baseball’s top team is having a blast in Philadelphia.

Randal Grichuk homered twice and John Lackey hurled seven innings of one-run ball as the Cardinals routed the Phillies on Saturday for the second night in a row. Friday’s score was 12-4. Saturday’s was 10-1.

St. Louis boasts the very best run differential in MLB at +84 and the best record at 45-23. Philadelphia has the worst run differential (by a wide margin) at -129 and Sunday’s matchup of Michael Wacha vs. Adam Morgan doesn’t bode well for a quick bounceback.

With the Pirates getting no-hit Saturday by Max Scherzer and the Nationals, the Cardinals’ lead in the National League Central is back up to six games.

If the Cardinals play .500 ball the rest of the way, they will still finish the season with 92 wins. Hack that. Or something.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3

Rangers 2, White Sox 3

Cubs 4, Twins 1 (10 innings)

Angels 1, Athletics 4

Pirates 0, Nationals 6

Brewers 1, Rockies 5

Cardinals 10, Phillies 1

Rays 4, Indians 1

Red Sox 4, Royals 7

Mets 4, Braves 6

Marlins 5, Reds 0

Tigers 3, Yankees 14

Giants 6, Dodgers 2

Astros 3, Mariners 6

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 1

Nationals to pay minor leaguers $300 — not $400 — per week through June

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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.