The Nationals have re-signed Jeremy Hellickson to a one-year, $1.3 million contract. Jon Heyman reports that there are performance-based incentives in the deal that can push its total value to $4 million.
Hellickson made 19 starts for the Nationals last season, posting an ERA of 3.45 in 91 innings. His strikeout rate was pretty low and he was pretty stingy with hits and walks, but it’s an open question as to whether that was a matter of luck or a function of finding a new gear at the age 31. There’s also the matter of the wrist injury which ended his season in August. It was a sprain, and it should be no issue for 2019.
Either way, this is a cheap enough contract for Washington that they can afford to take a chance on the matter.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.