The Nationals are expected to call up prospect Wilmer Difo

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Jayson Werth has a bum wrist and is expected to be placed on the disabled list. Not that interesting. More interesting? The guy they expect to take his place on the 25-man roster: top prospect Wilmer Difo.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nats are expected to promote Difo, who has only played 33 games above low A-ball. The infielder, who is 23, is as fast as anything and hit 14 homers last year. You can read a scouting report from the Baseball Prospectus folks here. Short version: he projects to be a good everyday shortstop for a contender someday.

What he is today is less-than-clear, at least on the Nationals. He has mostly played shortstop, but the Nats are unlikely to sit Ian Desmond. Danny Espinosa has hit really well. There has been talk of the Nats trading Desmond, but at the moment things are going well for the club. Maybe they’re concerned Anthony Rendon is never, ever coming back from the series of unfortunate events he seems to be suffering through.

Either way, and exciting prospect is heading to the bigs.

 

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.