A Boston Red Sox minor leaguer has tested positive for coronavirus. In response, the team has closed down its training complex in Fort Myers, Florida for at least two weeks.
The team didn’t identify the player, but said he was doing well. They said that the affected player was most recently at the spring training site on March 15. Based on the timing of his test, the team believes he most likely got the virus after leaving Fort Myers, but closed the complex out of an abundance of caution. The Red Sox said any players or staff members who came into close contact with the affected minor leaguer should self-quarantine for two weeks.
Earlier this month, the New York Yankees said two of its minor leaguers had the virus. Those were the first two players affiliated with a big league organization known to test positive.
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.