After missing more than a week, Hanley Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Red Sox today due to what was termed as right shoulder inflammation.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise, as rosters have expanded and there’s no obvious need to put him on the disabled list. At the very least, this rules him out from playing again until next Friday. According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo said yesterday that there’s no timetable for Ramirez’s return. If he does play again this season, it will be at first base, which is expected to be his position next season.
In the first year of a four-year, $88 million contract, Ramirez is batting .249/.291/.426 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI over 105 games. He has zero homers and a .450 OPS since the All-Star break.
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?