Nationals prospect Matt Purke needs Tommy John surgery

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Matt Purke, who turned down signing with the Rangers as a first-round draft pick in 2009 and then got a $4 million big-league contract to sign with the Nationals as a third-round draft pick in 2011, needs Tommy John elbow surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.

Purke was initially drafted 14th overall after a standout college career at TCU, but he’s been limited to just 136 career innings due to injuries. Before being shut down this year he had an 8.04 ERA and 22/18 K/BB ratio in 31 innings at Double-A as a 23-year-old, and because of the MLB contract he received Purke will be out of minor-league options by the time he returns from surgery.

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.