The Padres officially announced the signing of second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract on Thursday. To make room for him on the active roster, the club designated pitcher Clayton Richard for assignment. Richard is owed $3 million for the 2019 season, which the Padres will have to pay (minus the major league minimum salary) if he signs with a new team.
Richard, 35, posted a disappointing 5.33 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 60 walks over 158 2/3 innings for the Padres last season. He was also subpar in 2017 with the Padres, finishing with a 4.79 ERA across 197 1/3 innings.
Richard underwent season-ending knee surgery in August. That, Richard’s age, and his recent performance are certainly red marks against him, but he’s left-handed and an innings-eater when healthy, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him quickly latch on elsewhere.
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.