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Bud Norris’ deal with Nationals falls through

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The other day it was reported that Bud Norris and the Nationals had agreed to a deal, pending a physical. Now we hear that the deal has fallen through.

Jon Heyman says that it became clear during the pre-signing physical that Norris was still a month or so away from being fully recovered from the forearm injury he suffered in Blue Jays camp and that timetable simply wasn’t good for the Nats.

With two big wins against the Phillies in their rear-view mirror the Nats are probably feeling better about themselves than they did when they struck the deal with Norris, but they still have bullpen issues to deal with so the hunt for an arm goes on.

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.