Mariners set Miguel Olivo, Munenori Kawasaki free

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The Mariners announced Wednesday that they’ve declined catcher Miguel Olivo’s $3 million option for 2013 and that they’ve released shortstop Munenori Kawasaki.

Olivo should have been cast out of Seattle’s plans as 2012 went along, but he was still playing about half of the time down the stretch. He ended up hitting .222/.239/.381 with 12 homers and 29 RBI in 315 at-bats.

My favorite part of Olivo’s season was the fact that he walked three times in the 18-inning game against the Orioles on Sept. 18. Those were his only walks of the entire second half. He finished with seven on the year.

The 31-year-old Kawasaki signed a minor league deal with the Mariners because he wanted to play with Ichiro Suzuki and then gained a little notoriety for his dugout dance moves. He ended up hitting .192/.257/.202 in 104 at-bats. It’d probably be for the best if he returned to Japan to continue his career, but at least we’ll have something to remember him by:

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.