Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Red Sox have inquired on Braves pitchers Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino. It’s a matchup that makes sense, though Bowden says that “there is no traction to a trade at this time.”
The sense part is that the Red Sox could use a starter and Teheran looks like the best pitcher who might be available at the deadlines. He has a 2.66 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 92/24 K/BB ratio across 98 innings this season. As for how likely he is to be moved, the Braves are going nowhere and have already shown that they’ll trade anyone. That said, he’s under control cheaply through 2020, so maybe even the Braves will either think twice or demand far more than the Sox are willing to pay.
As for Vizcaino, the Braves closer has been outstanding this year, posting a 2.01 ERA and 44/15 K/BB ratio over 31 and a third innings. He’s under team control through 2018.
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?