Brewers release veteran right-hander Kelvim Escobar

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Kelvim Escobar was diagnosed five days ago with a nerve impingement just above his right (pitching) hand. In related news, his big comeback attempt with the Milwaukee Brewers has been squashed.

According to Brewers senior director of media relations Mike Vassallo, the 36-year-old right-hander was given his unconditional release this morning in Brewers camp, presumably because the nerve impingement hasn’t shown any sign of improvement.

Escobar made only one appearance in the Cactus League for the Brewers, yielding one earned run on two walks and a hit-by-pitch over just two-thirds of an inning. He signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee in mid-January after a good showing in the Venezuelan Winter League.

The 36-year-old has pitched in one major league game since the end of the 2007 season.

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.