Brewers activate Yovani Gallardo from the disabled list

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The Brewers have activated right-hander Yovani Gallardo from the 15-day disabled list. He’ll make his return to action tonight when he takes on the Reds at Miller Park.

Gallardo has been sidelined since he left a start on July 30 with left hamstring tightness. He managed to make it back in just over the minimum 15 days and did not require a minor league rehab assignment.

This has been a disappointing season for Gallardo, as he owns a 4.91 ERA through 21 starts and has posted the lowest strikeout rate (7.08 K/9) of his career. His average fastball velocity has dropped from 92.7 mph to 90.7 mph over the past three seasons while his swinging strike rate is tied for eighth-lowest among qualified starters.

Gallardo is still owed $11.25 million next season while his contract includes a $13 million club option for 2015. He could be had in a waiver deal this month, but the best scenario for the Brewers might be for him to finish the season strong and discuss potential trades during the offseason.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?