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Tigers acquire Elvin Rodriguez from Angels

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The Angels completed their trade for outfielder Justin Upton on Friday, sending right-handed pitching prospect Elvin Rodriguez to the Tigers. The Tigers also received right-hander Grayson Long in the deal.

Rodriguez, 19, was ranked No. 22 in the Angels’ system by MLB Pipeline. He spent the bulk of his 2017 season in rookie-level Orem, where he went 5-1 in 11 starts and commanded a 2.50 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through 54 innings. While his big league debut is still several seasons away, his continued consistency merited a jump to Single-A Burlington in August, where he issued nine runs, three walks and struck out 12 of 63 batters in his first 14 innings.

According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Tigers are still waiting to complete two trades from the last several months. They’re due cash or a player to be named later from the Cubs after dealing Justin Wilson and Alex Avila, and will need to supplement the Astros’ acquisition of Justin Verlander with cash or a PBTNL as well.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.