Jason Bay’s contract with the Mariners is not fully guaranteed

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Some were surprised to see that Jason Bay was getting a $1 million deal from the Mariners after he accepted a buyout from the Mets about a month ago, but it turns out that his contract isn’t fully guaranteed.

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that if Bay doesn’t make the team out of spring training, he’ll only be guaranteed $500,000. However, if he surprises with a big spring and makes the Opening Day roster, he will get $1 million with the chance to earn an additional $2 million with incentives.

Bay, 34, batted just .234/.318/.369 with a .687 OPS over three seasons with the Mets, including a .165/.237/.299 batting line over 215 plate appearances in 2012. There’s a real chance that he’s done, but that didn’t stop the Mariners from taking a flier. Hey, it worked with Oliver Perez, right?

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.