Major League Baseball has been working with the Major League Baseball Players Association for the last week trying to get so many different things figured out. Things from service time, whether facilities can or can not remain open, how much players on the 40-man roster will be paid, how to help out workers at the stadiums who are now losing out on their jobs, and so much more. One of the bigger things that’s come up over and over again is how will the minor league players be taken care of? They were sent home, and they aren’t a part of the union. Well, this afternoon Major League Baseball announced at least a short-term solution. Here is their statement:
Since last week, Major League Baseball has been engaged in a variety of discussions with stakeholders to identify ways to blunt the wide-ranging impact of the national emergency resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic. As those conversations continue, MLB is announcing today a league-wide initiative that will create a level of uniform compensation for Minor League players, covering the period between now and the originally scheduled start of the minor league season. MLB is taking this initial step today because of the effects of the season’s postponement on Minor League players and their families. MLB intends to continue working with all 30 clubs to identify additional ways to support those players as a result of the delayed 2020 season.
Each player who is under a Minor League Uniform Player Contract will receive a lump sum equal to the allowances that would have been paid through April 8th. The exceptions to this plan are non-40-man-roster players who are already receiving Major League allowances; players who are currently receiving housing, food or other services from Clubs; and players who were not participating in, or expected to participate in, Minor League Spring Training. MLB remains in communication with Clubs on the development of an industry-wide plan for Minor League player compensation from April 9th through the beginning of the coming season.
MLB takes the community impact of this crisis seriously. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts to protect fans, players and ballpark workers, and we urge all baseball fans to follow suit. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.
In the last several days, MLB has announced a joint, $1M MLB-MLBPA fund to speed food assistance to those impacted by the crisis and a 30-Club, $30M effort to support ballpark workers. Individual Clubs will continue to announce more details surrounding support for their local communities and players are coming together to urge fans to take this crisis seriously.
Now, there aren’t exactly details here in terms of monetary value to what is actually going to be paid to the players here. Between today and April 8th, there are 21 days. That’s how many the players will be paid for in this temporary situation. Before going any further, I want to stress that every single thing put out by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association is that they are still working towards figuring out a way to pay the Minor League players even with the season delayed. I believe that’s the case and that they are being truthful and earnest in their words. For now, this was an easy, short-term solution to getting these guys money right now.
According to Baseball America, teams must pay at least $400 per week, through that April 8th date. Teams are also allowed to pay more than that if they choose.
That, however, only applies if you are one of the players that was sent home. If you were one of the players who was allowed to remain in a hotel that was supplied for you in spring training (because you can’t travel back to your home for one reason or another, or in the case of some Yankees minor leaguers – you’re being told to self quarantine) – you don’t get any money. The team will continue to pay for your hotel and food, but that’s it (as a league-wide situation. Individual teams could choose to do more).