Stockpiling rotation depth, the Angels have signed Wade LeBlanc to a minor-league contract after inking Chris Volstad to a minor-league deal last week.
LeBlanc posted a 5.40 ERA in 55 innings for the Marlins and Astros this year and the 28-year-old left-hander has a 4.51 career ERA in 417 innings spent mostly as a starter.
His numbers in the minors aren’t really any better, but much like Volstad he simply gives the Angels another option to compete for a fifth starter or long reliever job. And he might end up joining Volstad in the Triple-A rotation.
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.