Recent reports have indicated that the Dodgers are trying to move one of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier in an attempt to clear up a jam in the outfield. ESPN’s Buster Olney hears that, according to rival evaluators, Ethier is “by far” the likeliest to be traded.
All three outfielders are owed a lot of money. Ethier is headed into the third year of a five-year, $85 million contract extension signed in June 2012. The Dodgers still owe him at least $56 million. Crawford is signed through 2017 and is still owed $62.25 million, and Kemp is signed through 2019 with $107 million remaining.
Ethier, 32, played only part-time during the 2014 season. He racked up just 380 plate appearances while posting the worst offensive numbers of his nine-year career, batting .249/.322/.370 with four home runs and 42 RBI.
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.