Russell Martin’s contract is backloaded

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Russell Martin’s five-year, $82 million deal ain’t flat. Indeed, it’s pretty backloaded:

One interpretation: there are dumb corporate reasons at Rogers which makes doing it this way please some pencil-pusher. Another interpretation: the Jays plan to do more this season — really load for bear in a winnable A.L. East — and got Martin to agree to a backloaded deal to make that happen.

Now, to be less optimistic, one could note that Mark Buehrle and his $19 million come off the books next year and that, barring the team picking up his option for 2016, Jose Bautista’s salary does as well. If one thinks that way, one could conclude that this is just a means of keeping payroll as flat as can possibly be maintained.

But it’s November, so maybe Jays fans can hope a bit more about the team making more moves.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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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.