Yankees reliever Zach Britton exited Game 3 of the ALDS in Minnesota with an apparent ankle injury, according to Ken Rosenthal on the FS1 television broadcast. Britton entered the game with a runner on first base and no outs in the seventh inning, and escaped the inning with no further damage. He had to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side and may have suffered the injury on that play.
Britton remained in the game to start the eighth inning and served up a solo home run to Eddie Rosario, finally putting the Twins on the board at a 3-1 deficit. Britton got Mitch Garver to ground out before being tended to by the team trainer. The lefty exited the game not long after.
Aroldis Chapman took over for Britton, tasked with getting a five-out save. He navigated past Luis Arraez and Miguel Sanó to send the game into the ninth.
With the Yankees poised to polish off a sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, they are looking ahead to Saturday, when the ALCS will begin. That’s four days of rest, and four days to determine Britton’s availability. The club should provide a preliminary idea of Britton’s status on Tuesday.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?