The Indians acquired right-handed reliever Phil Maton from the Padres, the teams revealed Friday. The Padres will receive international bonus pool allotments in the deal.
Maton, 26, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus shortly after the trade was finalized. He got off to a rough start in San Diego this season, and rounded off his three-year stint with an unsightly 7.77 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, and 7.4 SO/9 across 24 1/3 innings of relief in 2019. He’s expected to fill in as pitching depth in the Indians’ system for the time being, with the hope that he might eventually duplicate his Triple-A 2.89 ERA in the big leagues at some point.
The Padres, meanwhile, filled the vacant spot on their 40-man roster with no. 18 prospect Andres Muñoz, a hard-throwing righty whose heater can regularly touch triple digits. The club’s bullpen currently ranks 17th-best in the league with a collective 4.56 ERA and 6.6 fWAR this year; the Indians, on the other hand, sit fifth-best with a 3.95 ERA and 11.7 fWAR.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.