As expected, the Braves have signed free agent starter Dallas Keuchel, David O’Brien of The Athletic reports. Per Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for one year and $13 million.
Keuchel, 31, posted a 3.74 ERA with 153 strikeouts and 58 walks across 204 2/3 innings for the Astros last year. Due to purported concerns about his declining velocity, strikeout rate, and age — as well as the draft pick compensation that had been attached to him — he spent seven months as a free agent, just ahead of reliever Craig Kimbrel who signed with the Cubs on Wednesday.
Keuchel will likely need a couple of weeks getting back into game shape by making some starts in the minors. When he joins the major league rotation, he may displace struggling right-hander Kevin Gausman, slotting in behind Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka, and Max Fried.
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.