The Brandon League Era is likely over in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers announced this evening that they have designated the veteran reliever for assignment.
League hasn’t pitched in the majors this season due to a right shoulder impingement. The 32-year-old recently posted a 0.84 ERA and 8/2 K/BB ratio in 10 2/3 innings over 10 appearances during a minor league rehab assignment between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City. His 30-day rehab window came to an end this weekend, so the Dodgers were forced to decide whether to add him to the active roster. They ultimately didn’t have room for him in their bullpen.
League is in the final year of his three-year, $22.5 million contract signed under former general manager Ned Colletti. He has posted a 3.55 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 over 149 appearances with the club. Given that he’s still owed roughly half of his $7.5 million salary for this season, he’ll almost certainly pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll still get his money even if he ends up opting for free agency over an outright assignment to the minors.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.