Reds outfielder Marlon Byrd suffered a fractured right wrist when he was hit by a pitch Tuesday night. There’s no official word on how long he’ll be out, but it will be a while.
Byrd had an eight-homer May after hitting just .169 in April and the injury will likely make it impossible for him to reach the 550 plate appearances necessary to trigger next season’s $8 million vesting option. Byrd is being paid $8 million this season, $4 million of which the Phillies are covering as part of their trade agreement with the Reds.
Byrd is 37 years old and there wasn’t much trade interest in him until the Phillies offered to cover a big chunk of his salary, so losing out on the $8 million option for 2016 could cost him millions. In the long term the Reds would probably be relieved to be off the hook for that money, but in the short term it means giving more playing time for Brennan Boesch and Skip Schumaker.
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.