Major League Baseball announced on Thursday a plan to help one of its groups most affected by the coronavirus shutdown — minor leaguers.
The league’s plan calls for minor leaguers to be paid the rest of the usual spring training allowances that they would have made until April 8, the scheduled start of the MiLB season. The payment will come in one lump sum.
The league says it is working with all 30 clubs on a plan for what to do after April 8.
A league-wide initiative has been announced for Minor League players to receive compensation between now and the scheduled start of the Minor League season. @MLB will continue to work with all 30 Clubs on the development of an industry-wide plan for compensation beyond 4/8. pic.twitter.com/Ck8Lv9uuzp
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) March 19, 2020
Minor leaguers were left, in many cases, with nowhere to go once MLB camps shut down. Unlike big league players, they get paid less than minimum wage during the season — and don’t get paid from baseball at all between the ends of their season and opening day.
Minor leaguers often depend on daily meal allowances during spring training to survive, while many work side jobs in the offseason to save up for baseball season. Yahoo Sports profiled one minor leaguer, A’s pitcher Peter Bayer, who was driving for DoorDash during the shutdown.
Between the spring shutdown and this announcement, some teams — but not all — had committed to paying their minor leaguers their usual allowances. The Rays were reportedly going to give every minor leaguer an $800 payout. It’s unclear at this point if that is similar to what the payment will be under the MLB plan. The Giants, meanwhile, have said they plan to pay for players more than the agreed-upon amount for all 30 teams.
The MLB plan will create temporary relief for minor leaguers, considering they haven’t gotten a baseball paycheck since August, but they’ll be looking for answers after April 8.
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