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Yordan Álvarez named 2019 American League Rookie of the Year

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Astros OF/DH Yordan Álvarez was unanimously named the Rookie of the Year in the American League for the 2019 season by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is the 11th player to win the AL ROY Award unanimously, joining Carlton Fisk, Mark McGwire, Sandy Alomar Jr., Tim Salmon, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Evan Longoria, Mike Trout, José Abreu, and Aaron Judge.

Álvarez, 22, made his major league debut on June 9 and hit the ground running. Through the end of the season, he hit .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs and 78 RBI across 369 plate appearances. FanGraphs credited him with 3.8 WAR, the second-most among rookies and most among American League rookies.

Álvarez, who was the No. 41 prospect in baseball before the start of the season, is the first Astro to win the Rookie of the Year award since shortstop Carlos Correa in 2015. He is the third Astro ever to win it, as Jeff Bagwell also won it in 1991.

Orioles starter John Means finished in second place and Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe finished in third. Also receiving votes were Eloy Jiménez, Cavan Biggio, Luis Arraez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Oscar Mercado.

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.