The Brewers used to have Corey Hart at first base and tried to bring him back. Then they were rumored to be into Logan Morrison. The Mariners jumped in front of them on both counts because, apparently, they want all of the first baseman. Heck, they now have both of those guys and Justin Smoak. And the guy who will likely be playing first base in three years just signed for $240 million to be their second baseman. Just greedy, really.
But the Brewers need one too, and with so few options available, they are talking to one of the few free agents who could be counted on to play a decent first base most days of a season: James Loney.
Loney is coming off a nice season with the Rays in which he hit .299/.348/.430 with 13 home runs and 75 RBI in 158 games. But that was really front-of-the-season loaded and was way better than he’s usually good for in a year. Still: he plays good defense, is durable and Miller Park is hitter friendly, so there are way worse directions in which to go if you’re the Brewers.
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.