The Rockies freed up $7 million this morning by sending former closer Huston Street to the Padres. Now they may use a portion of those funds to ink another ex-closer, Colorado resident Brad Lidge.
After overcoming arm problems, Lidge posted a 1.40 ERA in 19 1/3 innings for the Phillies last season. He also pitched two scoreless innings against the Cardinals in the NLDS. His velocity is well down following shoulder surgery, but by throwing his slider the majority of the time, he’s still proven pretty tough to hit. The league has batted .194 and .225 against him the last two years.
If signed, Lidge would help set up for Rafael Betancourt in Colorado. He’s probably looking for a guarantee in the $4 million range, with incentives that could take him above that.
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.