Mitch Haniger
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The Mariners aren’t likely to trade Mitch Haniger or Edwin Díaz this offseason

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While the Mariners have already shaken up their core group of players after dealing Mike Zunino to the Rays and James Paxton to the Yankees, ESPN’s Buster Olney hears that the team is unlikely to entertain offers for All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger and closer Edwin Díaz. Per Olney, they would have to be “completely overwhelmed to consider a deal for either.”

It’s not an entirely out-of-the-blue statement to make considering that both players turned in career-best performances with the Mariners last year. Haniger, 27, became one of the team’s top producers at the plate after he slashed a robust .285/.366/.493 with 26 home runs, an .859 OPS and 4.6 fWAR across 683 plate appearances. In addition to securing his first All-Star nomination, he experienced a significant second-half surge and placed 11th in AL MVP votes at the end of the year. He’s currently slated to remain under team control through the 2022 season and will enter free agency prior to his age-32 season in 2023.

Díaz, likewise, is coming off of a remarkable run in Seattle. The 24-year-old reliever and first-time All-Star dazzled with a league-leading 57 saves in 2018, complemented by a 1.96 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, 15.2 SO/9 and 3.5 fWAR through 73 1/3 innings. His performance earned consideration for the AL Cy Young Award and MVP honors, and he’s given no sign of slowing down as he approaches his final four years under team control, either.

No interested parties have been linked to either of these star players just yet, though it stands to reason that they would each command a hefty return if the Mariners decide to go full steam ahead on the rebuild they’re reportedly considering. Previous comments from GM Jerry Dipoto suggested that the team is open to offers on everyone else (with the possible exception of southpaw Marco Gonzales) as they try to suss out whether another run at the postseason will be feasible in 2019 — or whether it’s better to start stockpiling fresh talent in order to contend further down the line.

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.