Closer Blake Treinen will earn $6.4 million in 2019 after winning his arbitration case against the Athletics. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the figure marks a $4.25 million raise from his 2018 salary of $2.15 million, a new record for a “second-time arbitration-eligible reliever.”
Treinen, 30, certainly pitched well enough to merit the bump. He was awarded his first career All-Star distinction after pitching to a pristine 0.94 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, and 11.4 SO/9 through the first half of the 2018 season, and finished the year with even stronger marks: an 0.78 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 11.2 SO/9 in 80 1/3 frames, 38 saves, 100 strikeouts, 3.6 fWAR, and consideration for both the AL Cy Young and AL MVP Award.
Entering the 2018 offseason, the right-hander was one of 10 arbitration-eligible players on Oakland’s roster. He filed at $6.4 million prior to the initial arbitration deadline and was met with a $5.6 million counter from the Athletics. The club avoided additional hearings after settling with their remaining nine players: Khris Davis ($16.5 million), Marcus Semien ($5.9 million), Jurickson Profar ($3.6 million), Sean Manaea ($3.15 million), Liam Hendriks ($2.15 million), Mark Canha ($2.05 million), Ryan Buchter ($1.4 million), Josh Phegley ($1.075 million), and Ryan Dull ($860,000).
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.