Orioles, Dodgers have discussed Andre Ethier trade

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The Orioles have been linked in recent weeks to free agents Colby Rasmus, Norichika Aoki, and Ichiro Suzuki. But trading for a new outfielder is another route being explored by the Baltimore front office.

According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles “have engaged in trade talks with the Dodgers” regarding Andre Ethier. Los Angeles has already traded Matt Kemp this offseason — which helped chip away at the club’s outfield logjam — but it’s a safe guess that Ethier is still very much available.

Ethier, 32, batted just .249 with a .691 OPS and four home runs in 130 games last season for the Dodgers. He’s owed $56 million over the next three years and carries a $17.5 million vesting option for 2018.

Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson, and Yasiel Puig should be the Dodgers’ starting outfielders in 2015.

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.