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56 players non-tendered, become free agents

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With Monday’s 8 PM ET contract tendering deadline past, it’s official: 56 players were not tendered contracts and are now free agents, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. There were over 200 players, so roughly 75 percent of eligible players were tendered contracts.

We mentioned that shortstop Addison Russell is among them. Other notable players not tendered contracts include outfielder Kevin Pillar (who received an MVP vote), shortstop Tim Beckham, second baseman César Hernández, third baseman Maikel Franco, starter Taijuan Walker, starter Jimmy Nelson, reliever Blake Treinen, infielder José Peraza, and catcher Josh Phegley.

Teams consider a player’s health, age, and production when deciding whether or not to tender them contracts, as well their projected salaries in arbitration and the teams’ own payroll flexibility. Non-tendered players also open up a spot on the 40-man roster, which can be important for some teams with the Rule 5 draft that will take place next week during the Winter Meetings.

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.