As The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal suggested as news of the blockbuster Mookie Betts trade hit, the Dodgers have agreed to trade outfielder Joc Pederson and pitcher Ross Stripling to the Angels. They will receive infielder Luis Rengifo and two prospects in return.
Pederson, 29, hit a productive .249/.339/.538 with 36 home runs and 74 RBI across 514 plate appearances last season. 464 of those plate appearances came against right-handed pitchers.
Stripling, 30, made 15 starts and 17 relief appearances last season, posting a 3.47 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks across 90 2/3 innings of work.
Rengifo, 22, made his major league debut last season, batting .238/.321/.364 with 28 extra-base hits, 33 RBI, and 44 runs scored in 406 trips to the plate. He was, according to publicly available metrics, an above-average defender.
Pederson and the Dodgers couldn’t agree on a salary for the 2020 season, so they were headed to arbitration. Pederson filed for $9.5 million while the Dodgers countered at $7.75 million. Now it’s the Angels’ problem. More importantly for the Dodgers, getting Pederson off the books helps them absorb more of the salary taken on in the Betts trade which also included David Price. In Rengifo, the Dodgers also receive a solid middle infielder who will be under team control for quite a while.
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.