FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweeted earlier that the Mets and Brewers “have had preliminary talks” about a trade involving one or more of Milwaukee’s position players, and now Marc Carig of Newsday is reporting that those negotiations are centering around veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Ramirez is hitting just .213/.257/.390 in 48 games this season for the Brewers and he’s making $14 million in the final year of a four-year, $46 million contract. But the Mets are desperate for a boost of some kind and they especially need help at the hot corner with David Wright battling spinal stenosis.
Ramirez does have seven home runs this year, which is more than double what the Mets’ third basemen have produced collectively. The 36-year-old tallied 15 homers and 66 RBI in 133 games last season.
For what it’s worth, a source told ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin on both Tuesday and Wednesday that the Mets are not in on Ramirez. Crazy season is already upon us, folks.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?