Entering Monday’s doubleheader against the Marlins, Mets closer Edwin Díaz had allowed runs in each of his last four appearances, creating some uncertainty around his role in the bullpen. Manager Mickey Callaway laid those concerns to rest on Monday, giving Díaz a vote of confidence. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Callaway said Díaz is the Mets’ closer and “is going to be our closer.”
Díaz, 25, is 24-for-29 in save chances this season with a 5.32 ERA and a 71/16 K/BB ratio in 44 innings this year. This is by far his worst season since debuting in 2016. The Mets acquired him along with Robinson Canó — who was just diagnosed with a torn hamstring — from the Mariners in December in exchange for four players, including prospect Jarred Kelenic.
Had Díaz been bumped from the closer’s role, it is unclear how the Mets would have handled the ninth inning. A closer-by-committee mostly featuring Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson would have seemed most likely. It still may end up being the case if Díaz can’t turn things around.
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.