Yesterday Chad Qualls was claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team. Today the team has been identified: the Detroit Tigers.
Qualls has posted a 3.07 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio over 44 innings while going 14-for-17 in save opportunities. He’s under contract for $3 million next season and there’s a $3.5 million club option. It’s doubtful, however, that the Astros would simply let him go on waivers, and they are on record saying that it would take a nice haul in return for them to let him go.
The Tigers, of course, have perpetual bullpen problems and have decided that throwing anyone who has ever sniffed the eighth or ninth inning at the problem is the best way to solve it. It may be the only way for them solve it, actually, although it’s unclear whether they have anything Houston wants in return.
The teams have until sometime tomorrow to complete a trade. Though the Astros could, of course, pull Qualls off waivers at any time.
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.