The Red Sox sign Rich Hill

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The Red Sox signed lefty Rich Hill to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Homecoming, I guess, as Hill pitched 40 games across three seasons with the Red Sox before going to Cleveland last year. His ERA was a hideous 6.28 ERA but he did strike out 51 batters over 38.2 innings and continues to be murder on lefties. He’ll make $840,000 if he makes the Opening Day roster, with $500,000 more in appearance bonuses possible.

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.