Free agent shortstop Ian Desmond remains unsigned, which in theory could open the door for the Nationals to re-sign him given that they’re the one team able to do so without forfeiting a draft pick. However, according to James Wagner of the Washington Post “that ship has sailed.”
Wagner reports that Desmond and the Nationals have had zero negotiations this offseason and in fact haven’t talked contract since he turned down a $90 million offer in the spring of 2014. He also turned down a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer two months ago.
Clearly the Nationals never intended to keep Desmond once that happened, which is why they traded for a long-term shortstop in Trea Turner and signed veteran middle infielders Daniel Murphy and Stephen Drew to go with in-house option Danny Espinosa. If anything the Nationals have too much middle infield depth.
And now Desmond, who’s coming off a career-worst season at age 30 and has seen his OPS decline every year since 2012, will be lucky to get even a fraction of what the Nationals offered him less than two years ago.
Francys Romero reports that, according to his sources, Dodgers pitcher David Price will pay $1,000 out of his own money to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the 40-man roster during the month of June.
That’s a pretty amazing gesture from Price. It’s also extraordinarily telling that such a gesture is even necessary.
Under a March agreement with Major League Baseball, minor leaguers have been receiving financial assistance that is set to expire at the end of May. Baseball America reported earlier this week that the Dodgers will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week past May 31, but it is unclear how long such payments would go. Even if one were to assume that the payments will continue throughout the month of June, however, it’s worth noting that $400 a week is not a substantial amount of money for players to live on, on which to support families, and on which to train and remain ready to play baseball if and when they are asked to return.
Price’s generosity should be lauded here, but this should not be considered a feel-good story overall. Major League Baseball, which has always woefully underpaid its minor leaguers has left them in a vulnerable position once again.