White Sox haven’t ruled out re-signing Alexei Ramirez

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Last week the White Sox parted ways with their longtime starting shortstop Alexei Ramirez by declining his $10 million option for 2016, making him a free agent.

However, general manager Rick Hahn told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that the team has not ruled out re-signing Ramirez at a lesser salary.

Essentially the decision made is we weren’t going to pay Alexei $10 million for 2016. We haven’t closed the door on potentially bringing Alexei back. He served us extremely well for eight years in a White Sox uniform and obviously middle infield is a position of interest for us going into the offseason. We’ll continue talking to his guy. Nothing has been shut for the future just yet.

As usual the free agent shortstop market is a very thin one, so it wouldn’t be surprising if several teams pursued Ramirez with multi-year contract offers. He struggled in 2015 and is 34 years old, but has a lengthy track record of being an above-average all-around shortstop with decent power.

Tyler Saladino is the top in-house option to replace Ramirez in Chicago.

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.