It’s unclear if any teams will be able to talk the Royals into breaking up their great bullpen, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Kansas City is shopping second baseman Omar Infante.
Infante signed a four-year, $30.25 million contract with the Royals almost exactly one year ago. It was criticized a lot at the time and he went on to hit just .252 with six homers and a .632 OPS in 135 games this year.
Infante is 33 years old and is owed $7.5 million in 2015, $7.75 million in 2016, $8 million in 2017, and $10 million or a $2 million buyout in 2018. It’s hard to imagine the Royals getting much for him and presumably they’d have to eat a bunch of salary.
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.