Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics and pitcher Brett Anderson are close to an agreement on a major league contract, pending a physical.
Anderson tweeted, “Fingers crossed for a passed physical tomorrow.”
Anderson, 31, signed a minor league contract with the A’s last March, making 17 starts during the regular season with a 4.48 ERA and a 47/13 K/BB ratio in 80 1/3 innings. The lefty battled a shoulder injury that kept him out between mid-May and early July. Anderson has historically had trouble staying healthy, crossing the 20-start threshold just once in a season (2015) since after his rookie campaign in 2009. He has made a total of 33 starts over the last three seasons.
For at least the first half of the upcoming season, the Athletics’ rotation will be missing Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, and Daniel Gossett, so Anderson will provide some much-needed depth at the back end. The front end of the rotation is not particularly inspiring as it includes Mike Fiers, Daniel Mengden, and Marco Estrada. Carrie Muskat reported for the Associated Press yesterday that the A’s are considering using “openers,” popularized by the Rays last year. Anderson could potentially be one of the starters who doesn’t officially start if the club opts to use an opener.
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.