Erick Aybar named to All-Star team as injury replacement

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Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is out for the All-Star game because of a wrist injury, so MLB has named Angels shortstop Erick Aybar as his replacement on the American League roster.

This will be the first All-Star game for the 30-year-old Aybar, who’s hit .283 with six homers and a .735 OPS that basically matches his combined .722 OPS from 2011-2013.

Expect several more injury replacements to be announced shortly, which is of course why the annual uproar about “snubs” is so silly.

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.