Pirates designate Jose Tabata for assignment

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The Pirates have designated outfielder Jose Tabata for assignment, Bill Brinks of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, citing MLB.com’s transactions page. Earlier, the Pirates acquired reliever Preston Guilmet from the Orioles in exchange for cash considerations. Ostensibly, the two moves are related.

Tabata, 26, had a disappointing season after breaking out in 2013 for the Pirates which seemed to justify the six-year, $15 million extension he signed with the Pirates in August 2011. In 186 plate appearances this season, he hit just .282/.314/.333 with no home runs and 17 RBI. He was outrighted and later demoted to Triple-A Indianapolis towards the end of June but he didn’t post any better results. Tabata returned to the Pirates in late August and made only a handful of starts before being resigned to the bench. He played in the Pirates’ loss to the Giants in the NL Wild Card game, going hitless with a strikeout in two at-bats.

Tabata was once a heralded top prospect in the Yankees’ system. He was traded to the Pirates near the trade deadline in 2008 along with Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jeff Karstens in the trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees.

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.