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The Athletics sign Jonathan Lucroy to a one year deal

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UPDATE: Welp, as soon as I wrote about the A’s courting either Jonathan Lucroy or Matt Wieters, they went out and signed Lucroy to a one-year deal. No word on the terms yet.

Lucroy is a better catcher than Wieters and, in all likelihood, a better option than Bruce Maxwell, so even if, as I suggested below, there’s an element of grievance-avoiding in all of this, it also happens to be a positive baseball move.

4:32 PM: MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the Oakland Athletics have been in talks to sign free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy or trade for Washington Nationals’ backstop Matt Wieters.

Lucroy hit a disappointing .265/.345/.371 with six home runs last year for the Rangers and Rockies, and a lot of that line was buoyed by far better numbers at altitude than down in Texas. That relatively poor showing has hampered his ability to find work this offseason but he could make sense on the A’s on a short-term deal during which he could build up some value.

The Nats shopping Wieters likewise makes some sense. He’s coming off his worst year in the bigs, both offensively and defensively, and is set to make $10.5 million on his player option this year.

The A’s currently have Bruce Maxwell at the top of their catching depth chart, but they don’t seem 100% sold on him as the starter. Likewise, the A’s are one of the teams against which the MLBPA has filed a grievance for not spending revenue sharing money on players, so getting either Lucroy or Wieters may be a way of getting the heat off of them.

Scott Boras to pay salaries of released minor league clients

Scott Boras
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Across the league, scores of minor leaguers have been released in recent days. Already overworked and underpaid, these players are now left without any kind of reliable income during a pandemic, and during a time of civil unrest.

Jon Heyman reports that agent Scott Boras will pay the salaries of his minor league clients who were among those released. It’s a great and much-needed gesture. Boras described the releases as “completely unanticipated.”

Boras, of course, is perhaps the most successful sports agent of all time, so he and his company can afford to do this. That being said, it should be incumbent on the players’ teams — not their agents or their teammates — to take care of them in a time of crisis. Boras is, effectively, subsidizing the billionaire owners’ thriftiness.