The 2020 Minor League Baseball season is likely to be canceled as the sport remains shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Orioles have made the decision to continue paying the players’ stipends through the rest of the schedule.
The team made the announcement earlier today.
The final day of the regular season would have been Sept. 7, but the spring training camps closed on March 12 and there’s been no activity.
The Orioles already had agreed to $400 weekly payments through the month of June. Every team in the majors has made some sort of financial commitment, though the Athletics had planned on setting the cutoff at May 31.
Severe criticism throughout the industry led the organization to reverse course and make the payments through the end of the minor league regular season.
The majority of teams have made commitments only through June, with the freedom to grant extensions.
The Nationals intended to reduce the stipends to $300 per week before pressure from players on the major league side led to a bump back to the normal amount.
Today’s news could aid the Orioles in their pursuit of undrafted players who can be courted after the 48-hour quiet period following last night’s conclusion of the First-Year Player Draft.
The treatment of their minor leaguers is a nice selling point during the recruitment process.
Meanwhile, in other financial news, the Orioles will keep paying full salaries to their full-time employees and year-round part-timers through at least June 19. The plan was set to expire today.
Employees are still working from home with the warehouse closed.
The organization will continue to track the public health guidelines and negotiations between the sport’s owners and Major League Baseball Players Association, with the latest proposal presented earlier today. The Orioles so far have been able to avoid layoffs and furloughs.