Brewers sign Matt Garza to four-year, $52 million deal

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Now that Masahiro Tanaka is off the market the other starting pitching dominoes can begin falling and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers have agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with right-hander Matt Garza.

That’s quite a bit less than most projections pegged Garza for at the beginning of the offseason and basically the same as the four-year, $49 million deal Ricky Nolasco got from the Twins.

Garza, who was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers in July and won’t require forfeiting a draft pick to sign, threw 155 total innings with a 3.82 ERA and 136/42 K/BB ratio last season. He’s struggled to stay healthy in recent years, but has generally been a solid No. 2 starter and is still only 30 years old.

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.