Brewers intend to exercise their half of a $14 million 2015 mutual option on Aramis Ramirez

9 Comments

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the scoop …

The Brewers intend to pick up their part of the $14 million mutual option on Aramis Ramirez’s contract, league sources said.

Milwaukee has the option of buying out the veteran third baseman Ramirez for $4 million but is pleased with his performance and prefers him back with the team on a $14 million, one-year commitment.

Brewers GM Doug Melvin denied to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy that anything has been decided, but $14 million for a player of Ramirez’s caliber is pretty cheap. The real question is whether Ramirez will decline his half of the option in search of a multi-year deal.

The 36-year-old third baseman entered play Wednesday with a .295/.341/.447 batting line in 123 games.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

Getty Images
7 Comments

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?