Tommy Joseph
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Red Sox ink Tommy Joseph to minor-league deal

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The Red Sox signed free agent infielder Tommy Joseph to a minors deal on Saturday, per reports. Joseph was released by the LG Twins of the KBO League last month and will serve as minor league infield depth for the time being.

It’s been a minute since the 28-year-old first baseman stepped foot in any stateside ballpark. Joseph made his last major-league appearance in 2017, rounding out a semi-successful two-year stint with the Phillies before taking a minors deal with the Rangers in 2018. He entered free agency in October of that year and signed a one-year, $1 million pact with the LG Twins the next month, after which he batted .274/.332/.426 with nine home runs, 36 RBI, and a .758 OPS through 217 plate appearances in 2019.

Joseph offers some defensive versatility as well; during his time in the majors, he split his starts between first base and DH, and has substantial experience behind the plate from his minor league trek through the Giants’ and Phillies’ farm systems. However he’s utilized, though, the Red Sox are unlikely to see him in Boston until September.

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.