MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reported on Saturday that the Red Sox and outfielder Andrew Benintendi avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year, $10 million contract. The deal covers his first and second years of arbitration eligibility.
The two sides were initially unable to come to an agreement prior to last month’s filing deadline. Benintendi filed for a $4.15 million salary while the team countered at $3.4 million. The $5 million annual average value of the deal puts Benintendi a bit ahead for this year but likely provides the Red Sox a deal next year in what would have been his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Benintendi, 25, hit .266/.343/.431 with 40 doubles, 13 home runs, 68 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 615 plate appearances in 2019. With the Red Sox expected to complete their trade of Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, Benintendi will have a more vital role in Boston’s offensive approach.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.