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Phillies acquire Pat Venditte from Mariners

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The Phillies have acquired ambidextrous relief pitcher Pat Venditte from the Mariners, per a team announcement on Saturday. The Mariners will receive minor league outfielder Joey Curletta in the trade.

Venditte, 31, split his 2016 season between the Blue Jays and Mariners, pitching to a cumulative 5.73 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 7.8 SO/9 in just 22 innings. He’s expected to bring some bullpen depth to the Phillies, who are a little thin on left-handed relief this spring. According to comments made by Philadelphia GM Matt Klentak, Venditte will enter the Phillies’ camp after he finishes pitching for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, at which point he’ll begin competing for a major league role.

Curletta, 23, was the PTBNL in the Carlos Ruiz trade to the Dodgers last August. He finished the 2016 season in Double-A Tulsa, batting .206/.280/.371 with four home runs and a .652 OPS in 107 PA.

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.