Marlins add reliever Chad Qualls on minor league contract

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have signed right-handed reliever Chad Qualls to a minor league contract. The deal includes a spring training invite.

Qualls, 34, posted a 5.33 ERA and 27/14 K/BB ratio over 52 1/3 innings last season between the Phillies, Yankees and Pirates. He still induces plenty of grounders, but his strikeout rate has declined in four consecutive seasons.

There isn’t much upside to be had, but with little experience in the Marlins’ bullpen beyond Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn, Qualls should be in fine position for a roster spot if he has a solid spring.

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.