Twins close to deal with No. 2 overall pick Byron Buxton

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Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune was informed by the agent for No. 2 pick Byron Buxton on Sunday that a contract agreement is drawing near between the Twins and the 18-year-old outfielder.

Buxton is scheduled to arrive in the Twins Cities on Monday morning and will likely take his customary pre-signing physical Tuesday. If all goes well, a deal should be formally announced by Wednesday night.

The recommended slot bonus for the second overall pick this year is $6.2 million, but Astros selection Carlos Correa — a high school shortstop and the top overall pick in last week’s amateur draft — signed for only $4.8 million. And that might have a small effect on the market for the players taken below him.

Buxton is a five-tool talent. He once hit a ball into the top row of the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field.

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.