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Matt Harvey won’t opt out of contract with Athletics

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Athletics pitcher Matt Harvey isn’t opting out of his minor league contract. Harvey was hoping to pitch his way into the starting rotation, but the club has asked him to pitch in relief a few times at Triple-A Las Vegas. If he performs well, he could join the major league bullpen.

Harvey, 30, made 12 miserable starts for the Angels before being released on July 21. The A’s signed him to a minor league deal two weeks ago. In three starts at Triple-A, Harvey has allowed six runs on 12 hits and four walks with 18 strikeouts in 15 innings.

Harvey has pitched in relief only five times in the majors, four of which were his last four appearances with the Mets in 2018 before being traded to the Reds.

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.