I’ve been doing a fun little thing over at the HardballTalk Twitter account for the past couple of days: counting down the top-100 free agents, with a little blurb about each.
The rankings are fueled, primarily, by Matthew Pouliot’s free agent rankings over at Rotoworld. The rankings are not absolute player rankings or ranking about inherent value or how big a bargain they may be on the market. Rather, those rankings are based, primarily, on how teams might value these guys, going from the largest expected contracts to the smallest. I’ve made a couple of changes — a few guys have signed or have had their options picked up so, in their place, I’m putting wild cards — and in some places I’m making jokes. Mostly, it’s just another way to share Matthew’s great work and to freak people out who follow the HBT Twitter feed, assuming it’s always going to be a bot.
For those of you not on Twitter — which should be all of you, really, as you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Twitter — here is #100-81, which were posted yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll do a post with #80-61, etc. on through Friday.
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.