The Mariners are hot on the trail for another outfielder after adding Nelson Cruz earlier this week. They’ve been reported as having trade interest in Justin Upton of the Braves and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. The Mariners may also consider free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, Bob Dutton of The Tacoma News Tribune reports.
Dutton quotes GM Jack Zduriencik as saying, “A switch-hitter would be tremendous.” Dutton adds that manager Lloyd McClendon prefers a hitter who can slot into the second spot in the batting order between Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano, which would allow Dustin Ackley to be moved lower, perhaps eighth. Cabrera, obviously, fits that mold as he batted second in 112 of 139 games with the Blue Jays during the 2014 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.