The Mariners have been without Michael Saunders since July 10, but he has been activated from the disabled list and will start in right field tonight against the Astros.
Saunders originally landed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, but his return was delayed due to a viral infection. He was pulled off a minor league rehab assignment and reportedly lost about 12 pounds as a result, but he’s now back to 100 percent and will attempt to help the Mariners make their first playoff appearance since 2001.
Saunders, 27, is batting .276/.327/.434 with six home runs and 28 RBI over 65 games this season.
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.