The Angels are “monitoring” Chase Utley

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Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels have “been monitoring the rehab” of Chase Utley. Utley has been trying to come back from inflammation in his right ankle and may be back soon.

Utley has a $15 million vesting option this year if he reaches 500 plate appearances. As he only has 249 right now he is unlikely to reach that, which could turn him into a halfway decent rental player if he comes back from his injury with anything approaching his old abilities. Of course, Utley has full no-trade protection, so he’d have to be in on the idea of being a rental too, and in the past he’s shown no desire to do that.

Maybe, however, the chance to play on a winner would change his mind.

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.