Last season Domonic Brown was an All-Star for the Phillies, hitting .272 with 27 homers and an .818 OPS to finally break through at age 25 after years as a top prospect in waiting.
This season Brown has taken a huge step backward, hitting just .234 with eight homers and a .631 OPS in 125 games. And now, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the Phillies will look to trade Domonic Brown this winter for a similar change-of-scenery-type player.”
That isn’t shocking, although the fact that the should-be-rebuilding Phillies are now trying to bring back 32-year-old Grady Sizemore for next season based on a limited sample of good production while trying to trade the 27-year-old Brown is … well, very Phillies-like.
Brown is a career .249 hitter with a modest .723 OPS in nearly 1,500 plate appearances, so his former status as a top prospect no longer carries much weight, but he’s capable of being an above-average starting corner outfielder and is under team control through 2017.
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.