The Yankees designated David Aardsma for assignment

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The Yankees began to put the finishing touches on their Opening Day roster yesterday by choosing Shawn Kelley for a bullpen spot over David Aardsma, who was designated for assignment.

According to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Aardsma “didn’t really fit” with the team’s bullpen, as they wanted someone who could provide multiple innings at a time. Kelley threw more than one inning in 12 of his 47 appearances with the Mariners last season.

Aardsma has only pitched in one game in the majors over the past two seasons following a hip injury and Tommy John surgery, but he had a 3.52 ERA and 7/2 K/BB ratio over 7 2/3 innings this spring and finally appears to be healthy. The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 2.90 ERA and 69 saves with the Mariners from 2009-2010, so someone figures to take a chance on him. He’s set to make $500,000 in 2013.

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.