Your 2015 Winter Meetings Wrap-up

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The 2015 Winter Meetings are over. They weren’t quite as crazy as some Winter Meetings of the past few years. Indeed, there are a ton of players left on the market. More so than we tend to see by the time we wrap the Meetings up. But there was still no shortage of excitement this year, so let’s look back at what went down and see what it means for what might happen next.

First, some features we wrote this week which, if you missed them and have a bit of time on your hands, are well worth your time if we do say so ourselves:

 

Then there was some breaking news. Breaking news this time of year that isn’t specifically about trades and signings is usually bad news. There was no exception this year:

 

Finally, of course, the transactions. Which are really the point of the Winter Meetings, at least for the folks in the major league offices. There were a lot of them this week, but only a handful that were truly, truly major. If you’re a free agent position player you’re likely still out there looking for a job. If you’re a relief pitcher, however, you probably got a multi-year deal some time since Monday. Heck, even if you used to be a relief pitcher you probably got one.

There are still a lot of good players out there. Justin Upton. Yoenis Cespedes. Jason Heyward. Alex Gordon. Chris Davis. Johnny Cueto. Ian Desmond. Mike Leake. Just a ton of them, really.

Which is fine with us. There are over two months until pitchers and catchers report and nary a baseball game to hold our interest until then. If MLB wants to spread this out evenly, we’re just fine with it, frankly.

For now, though, another Winter Meetings is in the bag. And it’s time for a long Winter’s Nap. Well, at least until tomorrow morning when I’ll be up at the crack of dawn as usual, slingin’ rumors and stuff.

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.