Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the Oakland Athletics have signed free agent pitcher Marco Estrada to a one-year deal. Jeff Passan reports that it’s a $4 million deal.
Estrada has spent the past four years in Toronto, two of which were good and two of which were not so good. The worst, unfortunately for his free agency prospects, came this past season — the worst of his career — in which he posted an unsightly 5.64 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 103/50 in 143.1 innings. That explains the low-dollar affair. Estrada made $13 million last season on a one-year deal with the Jays.
Still, the A’s were desperate for starting pitching in the second half last season and still could use arms heading into 2019. For low money, it makes some sense for them to gamble on a bounce back season from the 35-year-old righty.
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.