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Report: Red Sox interested in Fernando Rodney

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Twins closer Fernando Rodney has landed on the Red Sox’ radar this summer, according to a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The club is reportedly looking to deepen their bullpen reserves in advance of a push for the postseason, and Crasnick points out that GM Dave Dombrowski has more than a passing familiarity with the reliever from their time together on the Tigers.

The 41-year-old Rodney hasn’t looked himself lately — and that’s a good thing. He recorded 18 saves in his first 23 save opportunities this year, paired with a respectable 2.97 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 30 1/3 innings. While Rodney’s durability and effectiveness might be due for a more significant regression over the next few years, he figures to be one of the more affordable arms on the market this year and could give the Red Sox an easy way to spruce up an already-dominant crew.

It also helps that Rodney wouldn’t be thrust into the kinds of high-leverage situations he’s facing with the Twins, given that fellow right-hander Craig Kimbrel has been pretty well established as the team’s closer over the last three years. The Red Sox’ relief corps currently ranks third among AL teams and fifth in the league overall with a collective 3.24 ERA and 3.6 fWAR — totals that could still use a little boost from Rodney’s stellar 2018 campaign. Naturally, Rodney isn’t the only potential setup man under consideration; the Red Sox have also reportedly been asking around about Orioles left-hander Zack Britton and Reds right-hander Raisel Iglesias, among others.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.