37-year-old pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will head back to Japan to continue his baseball career, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Iwakuma, who missed the 2018 season with a shoulder injury, says he’ll be ready by spring training.
Iwakuma signed a minor league deal with the Mariners last November after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement on his right shoulder last September. He appeared in two minor league rehab games on August 26 and 31, pitching three innings in total.
Iwakuma pitched in Japan from 2001-11 before going overseas to play Major League Baseball. Across parts of six seasons with the Mariners, he won 63 games with a 3.42 ERA and a 714/185 K/BB ratio across 883 2/3 innings. Iwakuma earned approximately $48 million during his time in the U.S. Not bad.
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.