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Rays activate Chris Archer

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After an absence of more than a month the Tampa Bay Rays have activated starter Chris Archer.

Archer went down in early June with an abdominal strain. When he went down he was sporting a 4.24 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/26 in 76.1 innings. Archer will now rejoin Blake Snell, Nate Eovaldi and the revolving cast of relievers in the Rays rotation.

Given the rumors which have swirled since the beginning if the season, one has to think that his next several starts will serve as an audition of sorts for would-be trade partners. Despite the injury, Archer is under team control through 2021, in part via team options, making him a very affordable front line starter which could net a nice return for the Rays who are perpetually in talent-collection mode and, being fair, probably should be given the place the Yankees and Red Sox are in the division at the moment.

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.