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Agent Jeff Berry expects J.T. Realmuto to be traded by spring training

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Per Jon Morosi, CAA Baseball agent Jeff Berry said on Tuesday during an interview with MLB Network Radio that he expects his client J.T. Realmuto to be traded by the Marlins before the start of spring training. Berry also said the catcher won’t sign an extension with the Marlins.

Realmuto, 27, is coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, 74 RBI, and 74 runs scored in 531 plate appearances. By FanGraphs’ version of WAR, Realmuto was the best catcher in baseball in 2018, as his 4.8 WAR greatly outpaced second-place Yasmani Grandal‘s 3.6.

Realmuto is entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. While the Marlins don’t have to trade Realmuto this winter, his trade value will decrease the closer he gets to free agency. Furthermore, the club also risks Realmuto getting injured or having a terrible season, which would tank his trade value.

In the run up to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, the Nationals reportedly had the most interest in Realmuto, so they could be a potential landing spot for him this winter.

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.