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Report: Melvin Upton Jr. to sign with Giants

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Outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. reportedly has a minor league deal in the works with the Giants, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Upton Jr. was released by the Blue Jays last Sunday after he was told he wouldn’t make the 25-man roster out of spring training. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman speculated that the outfielder could have a place with the Giants or Rays, and it appears that the Giants’ poor start to the season has intensified their search for help in the outfield:

Upton Jr. will join the Triple-A Sacramento squad to begin the season, Feinsand adds. He’ll join Drew Stubbs in the outfield, either of whom could see a call-up this spring if the Giants’ left fielders continue to tank at the plate.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.

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.