Zack Cozart’s knee injury has unfortunately proven to be as bad as it looked at the time. He’ll miss the remainder of the season with torn ligaments and tendons suffered when his knee twisted as he stepped on first base Wednesday.
He’s scheduled to undergo surgery, which carries an expected recovery timetable of nine months and means his status for 2016 may be in jeopardy.
Cozart’s injury ends what had the potential to be a career-year for the 29-year-old, who had nine homers in 53 games after averaging 10 homers per 150 games prior to this season. In his absence the Reds figure to use Kristopher Negron and Eugenio Suarez at shortstop.
Cozart is making $2.35 million this season and is under the Reds’ team control for 2016 and 2017 via arbitration, but questions about his status for Opening Day and post-injury ability to remain a defense-first shortstop could make him a non-tender candidate this offseason.
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.