Brendan McKay
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Rays option Brendan McKay

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Rays top prospect Brendan McKay is headed back to Triple-A Durham after a brief stint in the majors, the club announced Saturday. McKay’s roster spot will be taken by right-handed reliever Ian Gibaut, who is likely to make his MLB debut sometime during the weekend series against the Yankees.

It won’t be a long demotion for the talented southpaw/DH. According to comments made by manager Kevin Cash, McKay will be recalled in time for the Rays’ upcoming doubleheader after the All-Star Break. The 23-year-old McKay has proven potential at the minor-league level, but hasn’t seen enough playing time to translate those results to the majors just yet, with three runs, one walk, and six strikeouts scattered over his first 11 innings in 2019. He’s gone hitless in four at-bats as well.

In his absence, 25-year-old reliever Gibaut will step up for the Rays. MLB Pipeline ranked Gibaut no. 24 among the club’s current pool of top prospects, though like McKay, he’s also seen precious little playing time this year. Distinguished by an impressive fastball-slider-changeup combo, the righty has delivered two earned runs, eight walks, and 17 strikeouts in just 11 innings across Double-A and Triple-A so far.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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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.