The Blue Jays announced on Wednesday that the club traded DH Kendrys Morales and cash considerations to the Athletics in exchange for minor league infielder Jesus Lopez and international signing bonus pool space.
Morales, 35, is in the final year of his three-year, $33 million contract signed with the Jays in November 2016. Last year, the veteran slugger hit .249/.331/.438 with 21 home runs and 57 RBI in 471 plate appearances.
The A’s recently learned that first baseman Matt Olson will be out four to six weeks with a hamate bone injury. Morales could help fill the gap at first base along with Mark Canha.
Lopez, 22, spent last season with Single-A Beloit, batting .239/.293/.402 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 326 plate appearances. He has spent most of his time at second base, but has also played a significant amount of third base and shortstop.
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.