Matt Moore aiming for a June return

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Matt Moore is slated to start throwing off the mound in the last week of January. He began soft tossing and throwing on flat ground in September. This schedule — which is still the original schedule, as Moore has not suffered any setbacks — would have him return to the Rays in June.

Moore, who is still just 25-years-old, is 29-17 with a 3.53 ERA in 63 career games, 61 of which were starts. He has an extremely team-friendly contract and, for as much shuffling and rebuilding as the Rays have done lately, he still looks to be a part of the team’s future.

 

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.