Royals want a player, not a prospect, for Jonathan Broxton

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That according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi:

[tweet https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/221236238747828225 align=’center’]

Broxton, who was signed to set up Joakim Soria this season, has a 1.99 ERA and 21 saves in 24 opportunities as Kansas City’s closer. Still, the Royals would likely be OK without him, as they’d still have some combination of Greg Holland, Aaron Crow and Tim Collins to pitch the final two or three innings.

It’s a given that if the Royals want a major leaguer for Broxton then they’re looking to upgrade their rotation. But the list of contenders that would spare a starter in return for a closer isn’t long, if it exists at all. With Roy Halladay on the way back, the Phillies might be open to trading Joe Blanton to bring in Broxton as an eighth-inning guy, but that’s not the kind of guy the Royals are looking for.

The best possibility I can see is with the Mets. They could send Dillon Gee to Kansas City for Broxton and then call up Matt Harvey to take his rotation spot. Still, I don’t think I’d make that trade if I were the Mets. A half-season of Broxton isn’t worth 4 1/2 of Gee. Maybe if the Royals included Jose Mijares as well, giving the Mets two bullpen upgrades.

Still, my guess is that when Broxton goes — and it probably is a matter of when — it’s simply for a prospect or two. The Royals aren’t completely out of the mix in the weak AL Central, but they’re also not really a fourth starter away from becoming a contender.

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.