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Rangers pitcher Adrian Sampson heads to Korea

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The Texas Rangers have released right-hander Adrian Sampson, in a move which allows him to pitch in South Korea. He’ll soon join the Lotte Giants, with whom he has been negotiating.

Sampson went 6-8 with a 5.89 ERA in 125.1 innings in swingman duties for Texas this past season, making 15 starts and 20 relief appearances. He was third on the club in innings pitched after Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. In all he has pitched in three seasons in the bigs, though all but six of his 41 games pitched came in 2019.

Sampson was unlikely to stay on the 40-man roster as the rebuilding Rangers, hopefully, improved over the next couple of years, and it was likely that he’d have to settle for a minor league deal to pitch in the United States in 2020. Signing to pitch in the KBO is, therefore, a smart financial move for him in the short run and, with success for Lotte, he could position himself for a second go-around in the bigs if he chooses to at some point down the line.

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.