Nick Swisher has made it back from a pair of knee surgeries, coming off the disabled list to make his season debut tonight for the Indians. He’s starting at designated hitter and batting sixth against the Royals.
To make room on the roster Cleveland sent center fielder Tyler Holt back to Triple-A after calling him up last week. Holt is 26 years old and has posted nice on-base percentages in the minors, including a .421 mark in 78 games at Triple-A, but it may take the Indians totally souring on Michael Bourn for him to get an extended chance.
Swisher was terrible last season when he was healthy enough to play, hitting just .208 with a .608 OPS in 97 games at age 33, but the Indians owe him $15 million this year and $16 million in 2016.
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.