Minor league players will get some financial help while their seasons are delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Major League Baseball recently suspended spring training camps and announced the regular season would be delayed indefinitely. Minor League Baseball followed suit, announcing operations have been suspended until further notice as governments and public health officials work to contain the pandemic. This left minor league players without any games or financial means until the season begins.
On Sunday, officials sent out a memo saying that minor league players should “return to their offseason residences to the extent practical,” with exceptions for players rehabilitating injuries or for those who would return to a high-risk location.
MLB announced today that minor league players under contract will be paid a lump-sum allowance to cover costs from now up to April 8, the original start date for the minor league season.
A statement from MLB said this was a first step in compensation for the minor league players, and depending on the extent of the delays, could turn into more assistance into the summer.
“MLB is taking this initial step today because of the effects of the season’s postponement on Minor League players and their families,” the statement reads. “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.”
“Paying our minor league players these allowances during this incredibly challenging time is clearly the right thing to do,” Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba said. “The vast majority of our players rely on these funds to help with food, bills and personal items they desperately need. We are continuing to focus on ways to help our players navigate through this unprecedented time.”
The lump-sum payments will be equal to what the players were promised to be paid through April 8. MLB is also working on “the development of an industry-wide plan for Minor League player compensation from April 9th through the beginning of the coming season,” according to the statement.
Major League Baseball recently announced that each team will pay stadium staff out of a $1 million fund from each club and has also put together a $1 million fund to help support emergency food services.