Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that A’s left-hander Tommy Milone has requested a trade after being demoted to Triple-A despite plenty of success in the big leagues.
Several beat reporters covering the A’s expressed surprise over the report, saying Milone doesn’t seem like the type of guy to make that request or at least make that request and then go public with it.
And then last night Milone’s wife posted the following on Twitter:
Last night Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com asked Milone about the Rosenthal report and Milone declined to make any comment, which clearly won’t do much to end the speculation.
At the time of the demotion Milone had gone 6-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous 11 starts, so it obviously wasn’t performance based and instead was due directly to the A’s acquiring a pair of starters via trade in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. They’ll need Milone again at some point, but as a 27-year-old with a 3.84 ERA in nearly 500 career innings he’s certainly right to feel that he doesn’t belong in the minors.
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.