Mets set to bring back Bobby Parnell despite 11.57 ERA on rehab assignment

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Bobby Parnell’s minor-league rehab assignment was anything but impressive, with a 11.57 ERA and reports of diminished velocity, but his 30-day rehab clock is expiring and Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets will activate him from the disabled list.

Parnell hasn’t pitched since Opening Day of last season and his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery has been a rocky one, but as an MLB veteran with a $3.7 million salary simply demoting him to the minors isn’t an option.

Presumably the Mets will use Parnell in the lowest-leverage role possible until he shows signs of turning things around. Prior to the injury he was the Mets’ closer and posted a 2.79 ERA in 213 innings from 2010-2013, but the first-hand reports from his rehab stint suggest things could be ugly against big-league hitters for a while.

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.