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Brewers acquire starter Jordan Lyles from Pirates

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We have a trade: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Milwaukee Brewers have acquired starting pitcher Jordan Lyles from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In exchange, Milwaukee is sending minor league pitcher Cody Ponce to the Pirates. Lyles was scheduled to start the Pirates’ game against the Reds tonight. Guess that’s not happening.

Lyles, 28, actually pitched 11 games in relief for the Brewers last year before signing as a free agent with Pittsburgh this past offseason. This year, as a starter, he’s 5-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 17 starts. It’s been way worse than that of late, however. In his first eight starts he had a 1.89 ERA. In his last nine starts he’s got a 9.57 ERA. It’s 15.00 in his four July starts. Overall his 82 ERA+ is in line with his career numbers but that’s certainly a bad trend. Perhaps the Brewers are thinking that the nice run he had with them in 2018, during which he posted a 3.31 ERA in 16.1 innings, is where his true talent level is. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with optimism.

Ponce, 25, was a second round pick of the Brewers in 2015. He’s in his third season at Double-A, however. He was converted from starting to relief work last year. This year he has a 3.99 ERA in 27 games out of the pen.

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.