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SoxProspects News

March 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Fort Report: Financial assistance for minor leaguers; scouting activity prohibited

With play halted for the foreseeable future, the main baseball topics revolve around supporting minor leaguers while play is suspended and figuring out a solution to the service time issues in a shortened season. 

  • While minor leaguers are not paid for spring training, they do receive a few hundred dollars per week per diem. MLB announced that these players will receive a lump sum that represents what they would have received under this allowance through April 8 and the Red Sox also covered any costs that it would take for the minor leaguers to travel home. 
  • Another group of people set to lose out on the delayed start to the season is ballpark employees. Each team has committed $1 million to help these employees, who are almost all hourly workers. 
  • Red Sox scout Rene Saggiadi is one of the millions of people on lockdown in Italy, and he spoke with ESPN's Jeff Passan about what life is like in one of the hardest-hit countries in the world. His goal is to help Americans understand the threat, using his Twitter account to answer questions and share news. 
  • Even if Saggiadi was in a place where he could travel, he would not be able to work under new guidance that came out from MLB. The league temporarily prohibited all scouting activity, both domestic and international. The talk about canceling the 2020 MLB Draft seems excessive, but it is clear that if the draft does happen, it will be unlike any draft in recent history. 
  • Adding to the bad news was the report that Chris Sale is set to undergo Tommy John surgery.  With the Red Sox in need of a starter, manager Ron Roenicke noted that Ryan Weber (pictured, above) would currently slot into the rotation. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe spoke with Weber about his great start to the spring and what he plans to do now that the season is on hold. 
  • Polar Park, the future home of the Worcester Red Sox, marked a major milestone when its first steel pillars were installed early last week. A recent update from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says the park remains on schedule for completion in April 2021, but it is unclear how the coronavirus will affect that. 
  • The Red Sox did manage to make a couple baseball-related moves, headlined by acquiring catcher Jhonny Pereda from the Cubs to complete the Travis Lakins trade. The soon-to-be 24-year-old spent last least in Double-A where he hit .241/.336/.305. He did win the Minor League Gold Glove award last season, as 33 percent of runners were caught stealing. 
  • The other move was optioning Josh Osich to Pawtucket. Osich threw 67 2/3 innings with the White Sox last year, pitching to a 4.66 ERA.
Photo Credit: Ryan Weber by Kelly O'Connor