Miguel Montero to replace Yadier Molina on the NL All-Star roster

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Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will be out 8-12 weeks due to a torn ligament in his right thumb. As a result, the six-time All-Star will be unable to represent the National League at Target Field in Minnesota next week. Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero has been named as his replacement.

The Molina injury also means that Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who drew the ire of Cardinals fans when an attack ad was released on his behalf, will start behind the plate for the National League.

The Diamondbacks now have two All-Stars with Montero and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals have four: Molina, starter Adam Wainwright, third baseman Matt Carpenter, and reliever Pat Neshek. The Brewers also have four:  Lucroy, outfielder Carlos Gomez, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

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?