Two weeks ago the Phillies were said to have agreed to a six-year, $50 million deal with Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, but the contract has yet to be announced officially and apparently it may not actually happen now.
For their part the Phillies have said absolutely nothing about Gonzalez one way or another and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the agreement “hit a snag.” Zolecki speculates that Gonzalez’s history of elbow problems could be the issue.
Gonzalez is widely viewed as a potential mid-rotation starter and MLB-ready at age 26, so if the signing falls through the Phillies’ pitching plans would change quite a bit for 2014 and beyond. As of two weeks ago the Red Sox were believed to be the runner-ups for Gonzalez, so it’ll be interesting to see if they get back in the mix now and if his price tag will be lower.
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.