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Elephant Rumblings: Mets sign catcher Bruce Maxwell

MLB news roundup

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

It’s a new day, and the 2020 MLB season is still going. The Miami Marlins are fully on pause after a major outbreak on the team, but for now they’re an isolated case and no other club has been affected. We’ll see if that can continue.

In the meantime, there’s still baseball happening, and that means ongoing player transactions. In one of the latest, a former Oakland Athletic found his way back to affiliated ball after a couple years out of the loop. The New York Mets signed catcher Bruce Maxwell to a minor league contract, reported Tim Healey of Newsday on Tuesday.

Of course, Maxwell is currently best known for being the first MLB player to kneel in protest during the national anthem, which he did back in 2017, a year after Colin Kaepernick started the social reform movement in the NFL. No other major leaguer followed suit until this summer. After that 2017 season, he made headlines again when he was arrested for a weapons charge. For more on his history, the only thing you need to read about him is this profile by Howard Bryant of ESPN.

Coming off all that, Maxwell underperformed in 2018 and was let go by the A’s at the end of the year. He hasn’t played in the majors or minors since, but is still just age 29. There are no official minors for him to play in right now, but the point is he’s at least employed by a team again, which is the first step.

Maxwell isn’t the only former Athletic finding a job this week. Reliever Fernando Rodney is nearing a deal with the Houston Astros, reports Adam Spolane of Sports Radio 610. The 43-year-old Rodney last played for the Washington Nationals in 2019, with whom he pitched against the Astros in the World Series en route to a championship. The 2020 Astros have recently lost starter Justin Verlander and relievers Ryan Pressly and Joe Biagini from their staff due to injuries.

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