Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings spent three months on the disabled list following knee surgery and now, after playing just 10 games since returning in mid-August, he may be headed back to the DL.
Jennings bruised the same knee Tuesday and sat out Wednesday’s game, with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculating that the Rays will simply shut him down and recall Richie Shaffer or another outfielder from the minors.
Jennings has been a regular for the Rays since mid-2011, but his bat has never quite developed as hoped with a .249 batting average and .724 OPS in 502 career games. Good speed and defense make him a solid all-around player, but with a raise to at least $4 million due via arbitration for next season it’s possible the Rays may view him as an offseason trade candidate.
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.