A's re-sign Tomko, add Jennings to pitching staff

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The A’s added two veteran right-handers on Sunday, re-signing the rehabbing Brett Tomko and picking up Jason Jennings on a minor league contract.
Tomko, who went 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA in six starts for the A’s down the stretch last year, is still working his way back from an arm injury and isn’t expected to be an option for Oakland until May at the earliest.
Jennings was shifted to the bullpen by the Rangers last year and had a 4.13 ERA in 61 innings before losing his spot. He started off with a 3.26 ERA in 47 innings before the break, but he gave up 11 earned runs in 14 innings afterwards and was released.
The A’s said they planned to stretch Jennings back out and allow him to compete for a rotation spot. He’d be a long shot to make the team either way, but he probably will have a better shot of beating out Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez for a rotation spot than he would overtaking any of the power bullpen arms.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.