Matt Moore throws for first time since Tommy John surgery

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From Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times comes word that Rays left-hander Matt Moore played catch Monday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery back in April.

Moore made around 25 throws from a distance of 50 feet, and Topkin says the 25-year-old had a “big smile on his face” after the successful workout.

Moore is aiming to return to the Rays’ starting rotation next May, after 13 months of recovery.

He boasts a 3.53 ERA and 339 strikeouts in 347 career major league innings along with one of the most team-friendly contracts in the major leagues.

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.