To make room on the 40-man roster for Kris Medlen the Royals designated for assignment second baseman Johnny Giavotella, a former second-round draft pick who’s been stuck in the minors.
Giavotella is a career .315 hitter with an .835 OPS and as many walks as strikeouts in nearly 2,000 plate appearances at Triple-A, but he’s struggled in a few stints in the majors and last offseason the Royals signed Omar Infante for $30 million rather than handing him a job.
At age 27 he’s no longer a prospect and Giavotella is limited defensively, but there should be room on some team’s roster for an infielder who can hit.
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.