On Wednesday, the Cubs announced that infielder Addison Russell has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for catcher Willson Contreras, who was activated from the 10-day injured list.
Contreras, 27, missed the minimum 10 days due to a strain of the arch muscle in his right foot. The All-Star was hitting .286/.382/.565 with 19 home runs and 55 RBI in 306 plate appearances prior to the injury.
Russell, 25, has had a subpar year, batting .247/.329/.404 with six home runs and 16 RBI in 168 PA. Robel García made an immediate impact after being called up earlier this month, blasting four homers with a 1.020 OPS in 14 games, which made the decision to option Russell even easier.
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.