For all intents and purposes, Jonathan Van Every is a placeholder. The 30-year-old outfielder is filling in capably off the Red Sox bench, but only until Mike Cameron and/or Jacoby Ellsbury are ready to come off the disabled list. Once that happens, it will be back to Triple-A — and a minor-league salary.
On being a placeholder: “You just try to make the most of the situation that you’ve been presented with. You take advantage of anything you can and try to help the ball club win games, in any way that you possibly can. And you have to enjoy every minute of it. I’m up here just having fun and loving playing in the big leagues. It’s just great. I could get send down tomorrow, or a week from now, or a month from now. I don’t know that. All I can do is play hard and hope that good things happen.”
On call ups: “I had three call ups in 2008, one last year, and this is my first one this year. The first time is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life — the plane I was on, the seat I was in, the thoughts going through my head. It was my eighth season of playing minor-league baseball and I was finally getting a chance to play in the big leagues, and it was special. Any time you get a call up it’s special, but the first one leaves a lasting impression.”
On the inevitable trip back to the minors: “It’s always disappointing getting sent down. That never changes. You always want to stay here as long as possible, but I understand my situation and my role. I know that my being here is based on injuries to certain guys, but you always want to stay longer, so it’s still going to be disappointing. All you can do is make the best of it.”
On the financial impact of going back to Triple-A: “It varies. If you’re a guy getting called up for the first time, when you get sent back down you’ll get put back on a preset pay scale for the remainder of that year. Then the following year you will make — assuming that you’re still on the 40-man roster — 60 percent of what you made the year before. Let’s say that in 2008 you got a call up for half the year. You take your total [salary] from the minors and the majors, add it up, and you get 60 percent of that. That’s what your minor-league salary would be for the 2009 season.”
On the 40-man-roster ramifications: “The 60 percent is assuming that you’re still on the 40-man. They could cut you loose at any point in the year and they’re not obligated. When you’re a guy in my shoes, you basically have a year-to-year contract, so right now they could designate me for assignment and they’re not really obligated to give me anything. The guys who are signed to three- or four-year deals, they could do whatever they want. A guy like Julio Lugo, for instance. He’s still getting paid throughout the remainder of his contract, but for a guy like me who is not signed to a multi-year deal — basically the 25th man on the roster — that’s not the case.”