MLB, Clubs Plan To Address Minor League Pay Impacted By Coronavirus Halt

Image credit: Spirit Communications Park in Columbia, S.C., is home to the South Atlantic League affiliate of the Mets

Editor’s Note:  This story has been updated with additional teams’ plans to pay their minor leaguers.

Major League Baseball and individual clubs plan to address concerns over minor league pay in the near future, league and club officials confirmed to Baseball America.

Non 40-man roster players, with a few exceptions, have been sent home from spring training facilities after a memo sent by MLB on March 15 recommended doing so due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Minor leaguers are not paid during spring training and have begun turning to social media to voice frustrations that they will no longer have access to the food or facilities provided at spring training sites.

Minor leaguers are unable to collect unemployment benefits because they are technically under contract with their clubs, but also struggle to find jobs at home because they may have to quit at any moment and return to baseball. 

According to league officials, MLB is trying to iron out issues with the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding major leaguers before turning its attention to minor leaguers and their pay. 

Some teams have already taken steps individually to pay their minor leaguers. BA correspondent Marc Topkin reported the Rays will continue to pay minor leaguers the $400 a week per diem they normally receive during camp. The Mets confirmed to BA they will continue to pay minor leaguers the allowances they normally receive during spring training. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told BA the Dodgers are doing the same.

Since initial publication of this story, the Marlins, Padres, Tigers and Giants informed BA they will continue paying their minor leaguers the allowances, stipends or per diems they would have received through the end of spring training. 

A Red Sox spokesperson told BA the team is currently paying its minor leaguers their spring training allowances through March 19 and is having ongoing discussions about what steps they will take after that date. Indians team officials informed BA they are giving their minor leaguers $400 per week for the next two weeks. The Cardinals announced on Twitter they will honor their daily per diem for their minor league players. 

The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler reported the Yankees are paying their quarantined minor leaguers their $25 per diem through March 20 along with an additional unspecified stipend beginning March 18. BA correspondent Nick Piecoro reported the D-backs are giving their minor leaguers one-time deposits of up to $1,500 in addition to their $300 weekly per diem. 

Spokesmen for the Angels and Cubs told BA they are currently in the process of planning measures to compensate their minor leaguers, although formal plans have yet to be established.

The remaining 16 teams did not respond or declined to comment.


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