MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports that the Twins have traded starter Kevin Correia to the Dodgers for a player to be named later. Left-hander Tommy Milone has been recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take Correia’s spot in the rotation.
Correia, 33, struggled in 23 starts, accruing a league-leading 13 losses with a 4.94 ERA and a 61/32 K/BB ratio over 129 1/3 innings. The Dodgers, however, just lost Josh Beckett for the season. Though they recently acquired Roberto Hernandez from the Phillies, they are still thin on starting pitching depth. Correia is eligible for free agency after the season, when the two-year, $10 million deal he signed with the Twins in December 2012 expires.
The Twins acquired Milone from the Athletics at the trade deadline in exchange for outfielder Sam Fuld. In his only start with Rochester, Milone allowed a run on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out three over seven innings. He made 16 starts at the big league level for the Athletics, posting a 3.55 ERA with a 61/26 K/BB ratio in 96 1/3 innings. Milone will start on Monday for the Twins, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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?