White Sox right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon has elected free agency. Rondon was outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte last week, but declined the assignment and will try to latch onto another organization before the end of the year.
Rondon, 27, signed a minor league pact with the White Sox in February. He never quite hit his stride with the team, however, and finished a four-month run in the majors with an underwhelming 8.49 ERA, career-worst 8.2 BB/9, and 12,1 SO/9 through 29 2/3 innings.
While there are still some things working in Rondon’s favor — a fastball that tops out around 97 m.p.h. and a SO/9 that regularly crests the 12.0 mark — it’s highly unlikely that he’ll return to the majors again this season. His track record suggests he’s far better suited to the minors, where he holds a career 2.72 ERA, 5.2 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 over 10 seasons.
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.