Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was told by Omar Vizquel, manager of Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic team, that he would be included on the roster. GM Carlos Guillen, however, decided to leave Cabrera off the roster. Understandably, Cabrera isn’t happy about the situation, as Jonathan Lehman of the New York Post reports.
“I will not participate in the World Baseball Classic because Carlos Guillen is the least serious and most deceitful [person] that may exist. What a shame that Omar Vizquel, with all the respect he deserves, is accepting all this scoundrel-ness,” Cabrera said.
Infielders on Venezuela’s roster include Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, Alcides Escobar, Martin Prado, Yangervis Solarte, and Freddy Galvis.
Cabrera, 31, finished the 2016 season hitting .280/.336/.474 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI over 568 plate appearances in what was one of the better years of his career. One could make a strong argument that Cabrera is better than both Escobar and Galvis, though each has at least one tool that gives him an edge. For Escobar, it’s his speed; for Galvis, it’s his defense. But when totaling all of the things a player does on the field, Cabrera appears to be the best of the trio.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.