Giancarlo Stanton cleared to swing off a tee after surgery

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Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been cleared to swing off a tee one month after hamate bone surgery.

Stanton was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable, but manager Dan Jennings declined to give a firm answer to Christina De Nicola of FOX Sports Florida when asked if Stanton was close to coming off the disabled list.

Oh, and despite missing a month of action (and counting) Stanton is still tied for the National League lead with 27 home runs.

Miami is 42-58 and Stanton is a 25-year-old superstar signed to a $325 million contract, so there isn’t much motivation for the Marlins to rush him back. At this point mid-August seems like a best-case scenario.

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.