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Not a shock: Phillies, Realmuto halt extension talks

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Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said yesterday that the club has put contract extension talks with J.T. Realmuto on hold.

Given that the entire country has, basically, stopped doing, well, everything, this is not a shock.

Realmuto will make $10 million this season after losing his arbitration case. It’s his last year before becoming a free agent, and both he and the Phillies have talked about wanting to hammer out a long-term deal. There’s a story about that in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which says that Realmuto’s representatives are using Joe Mauer’s $23 million-a-year deal as a “baseline” in talks, which isn’t unreasonable.

Realmuto, 29, is considered by most to be the top all-around catcher in the game at the moment. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 83 driven in this past season, winning the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove.

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.