Jhoulys Chacin
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Twins sign Jhoulys Chacin to minor league deal

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Right-handed starter Jhoulys Chacin is signing with the Minnesota Twins, according to Jon Heyman and Robert Murray. Heyman reports that it will be a minor league deal, but that Chacin is expected to make the team.

Chacin, 35, spent a rough 2019 with the Brewers and the Red Sox. The new super-ball was unkind to him. He posted an ugly 6.01 ERA over 103.1 innings, largely fueled by a decline in ground ball rate and a stunning 21% of his fly balls leaving the yard, as well as a slight increase in walks. That came on the heels of two strong campaigns with the Padres and Milwaukee, so the Twins are hoping that Chacin can return to form and provide some innings in the back of their rotation.

Minnesota has already added Homer Bailey and Rich Hill to their starting mix this offseason, in addition to bringing back the resurgent Michael Pineda. Hill will likely start the season on the IL and Pineda has the remainder of a PED suspension to serve, so Rocco Baldelli’s club will take all the innings Chacin can give them. Chacin will be contending with hurlers like Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Brusdar Graterol (a top prospect who may wind up in the bullpen) and Lewis Thorpe for a job in camp.

All in all, it’s a solid upside play for Minnesota. If Chacin can recapture what he had in 2017 and 2018, great. If not, he’s a decent swingman option, or they could simply cut bait and go to one of their depth guys. The big pitching acquisition many Twins fans were hoping for never materialized, but this is one of those little moves that smart teams make. You can do a lot worse for a non-roster invitee lottery ticket than Chacin.

Note: An earlier version of this article said that Chacin is left-handed. Obviously, he is right-handed. Nick will be sent to bed without dessert.

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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.