Apparently Matt was going to leave the A’s organization for a larger payday and more opportunity in Japan – however there was a clause in his contract along the lines that he couldn’t leave midseason if he was called up the bigs. So basically the A’s brought him up to scuttle the move to Japan, thereby keeping him around in case they need him later. Not knowing more of the specifics, it seems like a pretty lame move by the A’s if he isn’t actually in their plans. More info here:
Short A ball is sort of like a dress rehearsal. You either have to get moved up or you get moved out. As you said, Justin really didn’t light it up last season so I’ll assume it was the latter. He may try to latch on somewhere but even in A ball (Short A $1,300/mo. Low-A $1,500/mo), the pay is terrible. Hopefully, he can use his Lehigh degree somewhere.