Kris Medlen completes comeback from second Tommy John surgery, joins the Royals’ bullpen


Right-hander Kris Medlen, who missed all of last season following a second Tommy John elbow surgery, is back in the majors with the Royals.

Medlen signed a two-year deal, $8.5 million deal with the Royals this offseason after being let go by the Braves and returns about 15 months following the surgery.

Durability has always been an issue for Medlen, but in 2012 and 2013 he went 25-13 with a 2.47 ERA and 277/70 K/BB ratio in 335 innings for the Braves. For now he’ll work out of the Royals’ bullpen, but if Medlen looks good and healthy he could join the rotation down the stretch.

He pitched reasonably well while rehabbing in the minors, posting a 3.56 ERA and 20/5 K/BB ratio in 30 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

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.