Minor league umpires agree to new labor deal

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With their current deal set to expire later this week, minor league umpires have agreed to a new labor contract.

According to the Associated Press “the agreement calls for salaries to remain the same until 2016 when umps will receive a minimum $100 per month raise, depending on service time.”

In the meantime the umpires will receive a bump in their per diem, which will be $32.50 to $43.57 per day in 2012 and $42.50 to $56.00 per day by the end of the contract.

AP reports that umpire salaries range from $1,900 per month in rookie-ball to $2,600 per month at Triple-A. And all the short-range manager spittle they can handle.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.