The Marlins announced the club signed infielder Neil Walker to a one-year contract on Tuesday. The deal is for $2 million, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Pitcher Nick Wittgren was designated for assignment in order to make room for Walker on the 40-man roster.
Walker, 33, spent last season with the Yankees. It turned out to be the worst season of his 10-year career, as he hit .219/.309/.354 with 11 home runs and 46 RBI in 398 plate appearances. Walker hasn’t played in more than 113 games since 2015, but the Marlins are hoping to utilize his flexibility. He has mostly played second base in his career, but has also logged 100-plus defensive innings at first base, third base, and in right field.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.