There’s no baseball, but there’s huge news: Mets ace Noah Syndergaard has a torn UCL and will likely undergo Tommy John surgery. The procedure will keep him out until at earliest April 2021 and likely into the summer months.
Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said moments ago that Syndergaard experienced the discomfort in his elbow before Spring Training was suspended and that he had, quietly, been getting examinations and second opinions. He also said that Syndergaard will have the surgery on Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Which is a bit odd given that elective surgeries are currently prohibited in New York under governor’s orders due to the pandemic, but I suppose whether this is “elective” is a matter of nuance. It would be for you or me, but maybe not for a professional athlete. Just throw that onto the pile of things about which we are uncertain in the current situation.
Syndergaard, who is under team control through 2021, had a down year in 2019, posting a 4.28 ERA, but his peripherals were still strong. There was speculation last season and heading into this past offseason that the team would trade him, but the club shot those rumors down and said they had no intention of dealing him.
Now, no matter their intentions, he is not an option available to them for any reason at all for over a year.
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.