Report: Padres asked Diamondbacks for Paul Goldschmidt in a Craig Kimbrel trade

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Vince Marotta of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM reports that the Padres asked Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart for All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in return in a trade involving closer Craig Kimbrel. Needless to say, discussions didn’t get very far.

“I don’t know that it was not wanting to trade within the division, but I can tell you the quality of players that they asked for — including our first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt…”

Stewart couldn’t finish his sentence as he was interrupted by Gambo.

“They asked for Paul Goldschmidt,” Gambo asked.

“Now you get it,” Stewart responded while laughing.

Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Goldschmidt, 27, is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season, batting .347/.464/.605 with 22 home runs, 77 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. He currently leads baseball in on-base percentage, and leads the National League in batting average, hits (124), and walks (82).

Beyond that, Goldschmidt is signed to a very team-friendly contract, as he signed a five-year, $32 million extension with the Diamondbacks in March of 2013. He’s earning $3 million this season and his salary escalates slightly each season through 2019. His elite production plus his contract make him one of the most valuable players in baseball in every sense of the word “valuable”.

The Diamondbacks also showed interest in Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, but didn’t end up pulling the trigger on any trade for a closer, so they’ll roll with Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning the rest of the way.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.