The Dbacks traded Touki Toussaint and Bronson Arroyo because they think they can win now

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A lot of people scratched their heads at the trade in which the Dbacks sent last year’s #1 pick Touki Toussaint and Bronson Arroyo to the Atlanta Braves. Toussaint is a highly-touted prospect and, in return, they basically just got salary relief. And salary relief in an amount that seems far less than the value Toussaint can provide while still under team control.

But Tony La Russa has an answer for that. The Dbacks aren’t waiting for Toussaint to develop because they think they can win now and they needed the salary relief gained by giving up Arroyo to add the final pieces:

He makes no promises about when Arizona will play in October, but says they’re “a lot closer than most people think” and that they need the payroll flexibility in order to add “a couple of pieces.” That could be true. Or maybe he just reads different news sources than most of us and thus has a radically different time frame in mind than most teams.

Assuming the world does not end, however, Arizona is four games out in the west, behind the Dodgers and the Giants. Stay tuned to see if they truly add some pieces and try to make a run.

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.