Report: Blue Jays have checked in with Athletics about Tyler Clippard

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With the Athletics looking like one of the few obvious sellers leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, reliever Tyler Clippard figures to be a popular name. One surging team in the AL East has already reached out to express interest in a deal:

The Blue Jays were reportedly interested in Clippard over the winter, so it’s easy to understand why they are revisiting the possibility. The 30-year-old has functioned as Oakland’s closer this season, posting a 3.20 ERA and 22/13 K/BB ratio over 25 1/3 inning while going 9-for-11 in save opportunities. He’s making $8.3 million this season and will be a free agent this winter.

Brett Cecil is Toronto’s closer right now, but they haven’t needed him much in that capacity recently. He notched his first save since May 4 last night.

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.