Ervin Santana declines Braves’ qualifying offer

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For the second straight offseason Ervin Santana will hit the open market after turning down a qualifying offer, this time declining $15.3 million from the Braves.

Last offseason Santana did the same with a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Royals and then realized the draft pick compensation hurt his market value to the point that he signed with the Braves for the exact same $14.1 million figure.

Last time around Santana was coming off a season in which he threw 211 innings with a 3.24 ERA in the American League. This time around he’s a free agent after throwing 196 innings with a 3.95 ERA in the National League.

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.