Lester, Kluber, Hand boost free agent total to 175
Kluber gets a $1 million buyout, and the club has said it is interested in re-signing Kluber to a less expensive deal. Lester gets a $10 million buyout from the Chicago Cubs that completes a $155 million, six-year contract rather than a $25 million mutual option. Milwaukee turned down Gyorko and Sogard, a day after declining a $15 million option on 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun. The White Sox declined a $12 million option for Encarnación and a $7 million option for González, who will receive a $500,000. Kluber gets a $1 million buyout, and the club has said it is interested in re-signing Kluber to a less expensive deal.
Phillies clear out 'pen, decline options on Neris, Phelps
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Phillies have declined options on relievers Héctor Neris, David Phelps and David Robertson, clearing out the bullpen after it posted the highest ERA in the majors. He had a 2.77 ERA in 12 games prior to the trade and a 12.91 ERA in 10 appearances after. Phelps' option was for $4.5 million and included a $250,000 buyout. His contract included a $12 million option for 2021 with a $2 million buyout. The 35-year-old Parker was one of the few bright spots in the bullpen with a 2.81 ERA in 14 games.
Fraud concerns over California's unemployment benefits
The California Employment Development Department has paid a staggering $76.9 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, processing more than 11.9 million claims, most the result of Gov. Congress authorized the program earlier this year to help people not normally eligible to receive unemployment benefits, including independent contractors. David Robertson said his son applied for unemployment benefits at the end of April. Amy Brooks said she was denied unemployment benefits months ago. We are now seeing what that waste, fraud and abuse looks like.Before this, the biggest concern about unemployment benefits in California was the backlog of more than 1 million people still waiting on benefits.