Dodgers finalize contracts with Cuban defectors Hector Olivera and Pablo Fernandez

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Back in late March, it was reported that the Dodgers had agreed to a six-year, $62.5 million contract with Cuban infielder Hector Olivera and an $8 million minor league contract with right-hander Pablo Fernandez. But because the two are Cuban defectors, it took a little while for all of the parties involved to sort out the necessary paperwork.

The wait finally ended on Tuesday afternoon, per the Dodgers’ official Twitter account

Eury de la Rosa, a 25-year-old left-hander, was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Olivera, who will head to extended spring training for a couple of weeks but could join the Dodgers at some point in early-to-mid June. It’s not clear at this point how he’s going to fit on the Los Angeles depth chart, but these things tend to sort themselves out over time. Olivera, 30, was a 323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He can play all around the infield defensively.

Fernandez, a 25-year-old with a well-developed arsenal of pitches, will also head to extended spring training in Arizona before joining one of the Dodgers’ minor league affiliates. He worked primarily as a relief pitcher in his native Cuba, but the Dodgers are expected to try him as a starter first. Fernandez posted a promising 2.83 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings during the 2013-2014 season in Serie Nacional.

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.