UPDATE: The deal is now official, pending physical exams. Baltimore will send relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio to Arizona for Mark Reynolds.
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail admitted this morning that the Orioles are “making progress” with the Diamondbacks on a trade for Mark Reynolds, which given the typical lack of public statements about in-the-works deals suggests the two sides are very close to getting something done.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that David Hernandez would likely be the centerpiece of the trade from Arizona’s point of view. He has underwhelming overall numbers with a 4.93 ERA in 181 career innings, but Hernandez thrived after moving from the rotation to the bullpen and is now viewed as a long-term reliever.
He was consistently knocked around as a starter, but Hernandez is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio in 40 innings as a reliever and also has the raw stuff teams generally look for in late-inning options. His average fastball this year clocked in at 94 miles per hour and he posted big strikeout totals in the minors.
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.