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Nationals sign Asdrúbal Cabrera

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The Nationals have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with infieldeer Asdrubal Cabrera.

The Nats acquired Cabrera after he was released by the Texas Rangers last season and he had a great final two months of the season, hitting .323/.404/.565 in 146 plate appearances in 38 games. He was used as a utilityman, playing second, third and first base.

By bringing him back, the Nationals add to an already interesting infield mix, given that they just signed Starlin Castro yesterday, still have Howie Kendrick in the fold and top prospect Carter Kieboom is expected to at least get a chance to compete for a roster spot in spring training. Meanwhile, the Nationals are still reportedly tying hard to sign third baseman Josh Donaldson and would appear to be the only team free agent Ryan Zimmerman is considering playing for in 2020.

If the Nats don’t want to bring back Zimmerman — and if they lose out on Donaldson — the current setup would likely be Castro at second, Kendrick at first, and Cabrera or some lesser free agent third baseman like Todd Frazier or someone at third. Certainly in an ideal world they would allow Cabrera to be a utility-man.

Like I said: an interesting mix.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.