Tim Stauffer gets second opinion on lingering elbow injury

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Tim Stauffer is on the disabled list for the second time this season because of a sprained right elbow and was able to make just one start in between DL stints, so not surprisingly he sought a second opinion on the injury.

Rob Terrnova of the North County Times reports that Stauffer was examined recently by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Tommy John surgery on Stauffer’s rotation-mate, Cory Luebke, earlier this week.

There’s no word yet on what Yocum has advised Stauffer, but there’s little chance of the news actually being good (as opposed to just “not bad”). Stauffer was the Padres’ Opening Day starter last season and threw 186 innings with a 3.73 ERA, staying healthy enough to make 31 starts, but for now there’s no timetable for his return.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?