Twins release outfielder Jordan Schafer

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The Twins have released outfielder Jordan Schafer, who has been out since mid-May with a knee injury.

After a strong finish with the Twins last season, Schafer began this season as the team’s center fielder, but he struggled to the tune of a .217/.250/.261 batting line over 74 plate appearances and went 0-for-3 in stolen base attempts prior to going on the disabled list with a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Surgery wasn’t necessary, but he had yet to go out on a minor league rehab assignment.

Schafer’s presence was fairly redundant for Minnesota, as Byron Buxton recently took over as the starting center fielder while Shane Robinson is in place as a backup and Aaron Hicks should eventually return from a forearm injury. There probably wouldn’t be room for him when healthy and the Twins will need a 40-man roster spot when Ervin Santana returns from his PED suspension in a couple of weeks, so it made sense to just cut him loose.

A former highly-regarded prospect with the Braves, the 29-year-old Schafer is a .228/.308/.307 hitter over 463 games in the majors.

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.