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Quick Hits: Judge, Team Finances, Tsutsugo

Should the Yankees sign Aaron Judge to a long-term extension?  Joel Sherman of the New York Post isn’t sure, noting that Judge already has a significant injury history, is already under team control through his age-30 season, and how the Yankees’ financial situation will be impacted in the post-coronavirus baseball world.  There’s also the fact that the Yankees have generally shied away from contract extensions since Hal Steinbrenner took over the team, and the two players whose deals were most recently extended (Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino) have battled injuries since inking those new contracts.  Judge is in the first of his three arbitration-eligible seasons, and back in January agreed to an $8.5MM deal for the 2020 season.

More from around baseball….

  • Most of the 30 teams have already arranged to pay non-baseball employees through the end of May, with such clubs as the Phillies, Tigers, Rockies, and Padres already committed to avoiding job cuts or furloughs beyond May 31.  However, there is concern and, “among front-office officials there is an expectation,” ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes, that there could be major job losses within baseball operations departments after the draft in June.  Scouts could be in particular danger, as some clubs have already made moves in recent years towards relying on video analysis rather than in-person reports for scouting purposes.  As one team executive tells Olney, “it just doesn’t make any sense to me that these [teams] need to dump people making $40K, $50K.  Those savings are not difference-making,” even for franchises that will be taking a big revenue hit this season.  Such actions are likely to hurt a team’s reputation around the sport, and could impact future chances of hiring or keeping front office personnel in the future.
  • Yoshitomo Tsutsugo has been in Japan since late March, and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes that the newly-acquired Rays slugger is continuing to work out in preparation for his first Major League season.  Keeping in touch with Rays staff throughout, Tsutsugo has been involved in various workout, hitting, and throwing routines.  As to when Tsutsugo will be able to return to North America, nothing will be determined until (or if) a plan to launch the 2020 season is underway, and Tsutsugo be further delayed given travel restrictions between Japan and the U.S.  For instance, Tsutsugo could face a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine upon arriving in America, regardless of any COVID-19 symptoms he may or may not show.

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