Masahiro Tanaka to be named the Yankees Opening Day starter

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Yesterday Joe Girardi admitted that, based on how the Yankees spring rotation has been set up, CC Sabathia would be on short rest for Opening Day, making him unlikely to start that day. Who is in line: Masahiro Tanaka.

Sabathia has started the past six Opening Days for the Yankees. Before that he started the previous three for the Cleveland Indians. The last time he didn’t start an Opening Day game was 2005. But he did in 2003 and 2004, meaning that the big guy has started 11 of the past 12 openers in his 14 season-career.

I wonder if all of the people who are mad that the Mets are starting their big old dude on Opening Day are going to be mad that the Yankees aren’t.

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.