Following yesterday’s news that highly sought after Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is officially a free agent, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that another Cuban pitcher, right-hander Dalier Hinojosa, has also been cleared to sign with MLB teams.
Hinojosa defected from Cuba in February and has been petitioning MLB and the U.S. government for free agent status since. Sanchez writes that the 27-year-old Hinojosa “throws a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s.”
He’s an outright free agent and not subject to the draft because he’s older than 23 with more than three years of experience in Cuba, so expect a big payday.
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.