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Marlins acquire Jonathan Villar from Orioles

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The Marlins announced the acquisition of infielder Jonathan Villar from the Orioles. In return, the Orioles will receive minor league pitcher Easton Lucas from the Marlins, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko.

Villar was placed on waivers by the Orioles last week. The 28-year-old is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $4.825 million in 2019. He is coming off of a strong season in which he played in all 162 games, spent significant time at two middle infield positions, and hit .274/.339/.453 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 40 stolen bases across 714 plate appearances. Baseball Reference credited him with an even 4.0 Wins Above Replacement.

Lucas, 23, was selected by the Marlins in the 14th round of the 2019 draft. Last year, in his first taste of professional baseball, Lucas posted a 3.63 ERA with 41 strikeouts and nine walks across 34 2/3 innings, all of three of which came with Low-A Batavia.

The Marlins also claimed first baseman Jesús Aguilar off of waivers from the Rays. Aguilar was designated for assignment last week. Between Villar and Aguilar, the Marlins have addressed the right side of their infield for at least the 2020 season.

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.