Jedd Gyorko starting at shortstop for first time in pro ball

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The Padres’ lineup has a different look for tonight’s game against the Braves, as Corey Brock of MLB.com notes that Jedd Gyorko is making the start at shortstop.

This is notable because Gyorko has never played shortstop as a professional. That’s right, not in the majors or the minors. He has almost exclusively played either second base or third. However, the Padres are looking at alternatives to Alexi Amarista and his .553 OPS, so they are willing to take some chances with their alignment even though it might not be pretty. You might recall that Will Middlebrooks has even made some starts at shortstop this season.

The Padres had a “shortstop of the future” in prospect Trea Turner, but they traded him to the Nationals as the player-to-be-named-later in the three-team Wil Myers deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported last month that the Padres tried to get Turner back in a deal for Craig Kimbrel, but obviously nothing came of it. You can bet that shortstop will be on A.J. Preller’s wish list this offseason.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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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?