The Padres officially announce the James Shields deal: it includes a fifth year team option

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The Padres officially announced the James Shields deal a few minutes ago. As we know, it’s a four-year contract for $75 million. What wasn’t official before was it includes a club option for 2019 to the tune of $16 million, making the total possible payout for Shields $91 million. There is no no-trade protection for Shields.

As we noted the other day: this deal, along with the many, many other deals the Padres made this offseason has transformed the team. While it doesn’t guarantee the playoffs, it certainly makes the Padres contenders.

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.