The Diamondbacks enter tonight’s action at 43-50, 9 1/2 games back in the NL West and 7 1/2 games back for a Wild Card spot. This should put them firmly in the “seller” category, so it’s no surprise that ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Arizona is getting “lots of calls” about veteran reliever Brad Ziegler. However, they are currently telling teams that they would have to be “overwhelmed” in order to move him.
Coming off microfracture knee surgery, Ziegler has a 1.08 ERA and 24/11 K/BB ratio over 41 2/3 innings this season. The sidearmer began the year in a set-up role, but has gone 15-for-17 in save chances since taking over the closer job from Addison Reed.
It’s a little silly for an out-of-contention team to take this sort of stance with a 35-year-old reliever, but keep in mind that his contract includes a reasonable $5.5 million club option (or a $1 million buyout) for next season. The Diamondbacks apparently won’t deal him unless they get a strong return.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.