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Mets officially pick up Asdrubal Cabrera’s 2018 option

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Confirming earlier reports, the Mets officially exercised Asdrubal Cabrera‘s $8.5 million option for 2018 on Friday. As Cabrera was due for a $2 million buyout, it effectively cost the team just $6.5 million to retain the veteran infielder.

Cabrera, 31, was booted from his regular post at shortstop as the Mets turned to top prospect Amed Rosario early in the year. Despite some rumblings about a potential trade, a deal never came to fruition and Cabrera split his remaining starts between second and third base. He finished the season batting .280/.351/.434 with 14 home runs and 1.3 fWAR, and his extraordinary second-half surge enticed the Mets to bring him back for an encore in 2018.

The club still has quite a few questions to resolve as they head into the offseason — namely, what to do with David Wright and where to stash Cabrera on a long-term basis. They’ll also have to make a decision on Jose Reyes, who is set to enter free agency this fall and looks like a backup infield option at best.

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.