Cardinals add more bullpen help, get Jonathan Broxton from Brewers

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Not satisfied with Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek as their only bullpen reinforcement, the Cardinals have acquired right-hander Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers in exchange for minor leaguer Mailk Collymore.

Milwaukee got Broxton from Cincinnati as a late-August trade pickup last year and he ended up throwing 47 innings with a 5.55 ERA for the Brewers, but his 49/12 K/BB ratio is a lot more impressive and his average fastball still clocks in at 95 miles per hour. St. Louis will use Broxton in a setup role in front of closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Cishek is under team control via arbitration for 2016 if the Cardinals feel like keeping him at a relative high salary and Broxton’s contract includes a $9 million option or $2 million buyout for 2016, so it’s possible (but unlikely?) neither will be merely two-month rentals.

Collymore is a 20-year-old outfielder playing his third season of rookie-ball while hitting .216, so he’s more “minor leaguer” than “prospect.”

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.