Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Yesterday, Red Sox starter Chris Sale began a throwing program in Fort Myers, Florida. It was a first step towards seeing if he would be able to pitch again this year. Unfortunately, he will not. The Red Sox announced on Thursday that Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Sale was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his left elbow earlier this month. Team doctors advised seeing if he could rehabilitate his elbow without surgery first. Sadly, Sale will have to go under the knife. He is certainly done for the remainder of the 2020 season, whenever it begins, and will almost certainly get a late start to the 2021 season as well.

Sale’s problems began in August last year, when he experienced inflammation in his left elbow. His last start came on August 13, ending the season with a career-worst 4.40 ERA over 147 1/3 innings.

The Red Sox and Sale agreed on a five-year, $145 million contract extension one year ago. The first year, which pays him $30 million, has not gone as planned.

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.