Justin Verlander is the latest player to contribute towards the COVID-19 relief effort, as the Astros ace and his wife Kate Upton announced (via Twitter) that Verlander’s weekly paycheck will be donated to a different organization every week. “We’ll also be highlighting the organization that we choose so that that everyone can see the amazing work they’re doing right now,” Upton said. As per the terms of the recent agreement between the MLB Players Association and Major League Baseball, Verlander is part of the group of players (who have reached salary arbitration or are on guaranteed contracts) that will receive roughly $5K per day in both April and May. Now, all of the money Verlander receives from those payments will go to a variety of worthy causes.
Some more from around the baseball world…
- Major League scouts will soon be permitted to contact prospects for the 2020 draft and the 2020-21 international signing period (as well as the prospects’ families and advisers) beginning next week, CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson writes. MLB halted all scouting activities as part of the league-wide shutdown in March, and any sort of in-person workouts or meetings are still banned. ESPN.com’s Kiley McDaniel reports that teams are also not permitted to view any video footage of such workout sessions that took place after March 27. That said, teams can gather data and video on players (from third parties or from the prospects’ representatives) prior to that date, and also contact the prospects’ teams by phone, e-mail, or any other type of indirect method. With some rough plans now in place for a shortened 2020 draft, teams will now have some avenues to gain fresher information on players they might wish to select. The amateur draft will now take place in July, while the next international signing period (originally scheduled to open on July 2) could be pushed back as far as January.
- The 2020 season was already going to be a new experience for Matt Moore after the left-hander signed with Nippon Professional Baseball’s SoftBank Hawks, though the coronavirus pandemic has created an extra layer of unexpected adversity. Moore talks to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal about the differences and similarities between playing and living in Japan as opposed to the majors, his offseason courtship from SoftBank that included a private workout for the team, and how playing for the Hawks marks something of a return. Moore spent four years living in Japan as a child when his father was transferred to a U.S. Air Force base in Okinawa.