David Aardsma begins throwing, not taking offers yet

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Veteran reliever David Aardsma underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last July and won’t be ready to step back atop a major league mound until the middle of the 2012 season. Thus, as reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney, the free agent right-hander is not yet shopping himself to teams.

Aardsma recently began a throwing program, but he still has a long road ahead and might not be back to 100 percent health until the 2012 All-Star break.

The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 2.90 ERA and 129/59 K/BB ratio in 121 innings between 2009-2010 for the Mariners, saving 69 games in 78 chances. He should draw interest from a number of clubs this spring if his rehab is still going smoothly.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.