Jon Heyman says that the Red Sox have their eye upgrading third base:
The Red Sox, in need of third base production, are prioritizing Giants postseason hero Pablo Sandoval as well as Chase Headley, according to people in the know. Boston may also take a look at Aramis Ramirez, if he become a free agent, though he is said to fit below Sandoval and Headley. Ramirez is believed to prefer a return to Milwaukee.
It makes sense that they’d want to upgrade third base given the woeful production they got at the hot corner in 2014. Indeed, Sox third basemen hit a combined .211/.271/.308 this year. Not gonna get it done.
That said, you have to think the Yankees are going to want to hang on to Headley if they can because it’s not like anyone with a brain would count on A-Rod being healthy and effective and durable next year. As for Sandoval, his postseason heroics have been nice, but he’s probably going to be overpaid no matter where goes and, of course, will likely have draft pick compensation attached to him by virtue of the Giants giving him a qualifying offer.
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?