Twins name Vance Worley as Opening Day starter

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Would-be Opening Day starter Scott Diamond is beginning the season on the disabled list with an elbow injury, so the Twins announced that Vance Worley will get the Game 1 assignment.

Worley, who was acquired from the Phillies along with prospect Trevor May in a trade for center fielder Ben Revere this offseason, has a 3.56 ERA in 46 career starts through age 24. And lucky him, he’ll match up with Justin Verlander and the Tigers in the opener.

Minnesota’s rotation will also include Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey, with Liam Hendriks and Cole DeVries expected to snag the final two spots. Last year Twins starters had the worst ERA in the league and it may not be a whole lot prettier this season.

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?