Report: Albert Pujols paying salaries of furloughed Angels employees in Dominican Republic

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Albert Pujols is making a noble commitment to Dominican Republic-based Los Angeles Angels employees furloughed during the coronavirus shutdown.

According to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times, the Dominican Republic native and future Hall of Famer has agreed to pay five months worth of salaries to those employees directly impacted by the shutdown. That amounts to $180,000, according to the report.

It’s a donation Pujols can obviously afford to make. He has two years remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed prior to the 2012 season and has already earned more than $314 million over his 19-year career. But it’s a donation many feel Pujols shouldn’t have to make.

Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently worth $3.3 billion, according to Forbes. Yet the Angels have been among the most aggressive teams in furloughing employees.

Reports indicate nearly every level of the Angels’ organization has been impacted. Front office staff, scouting staff, the analytics department, and the minor league system, from coaches to coordinators to player-development support staff, were all among those furloughed. According to Torres, it’s estimated that about 90 percent of the Angels' staff at their academy in Boca Chica was affected by the cuts.

The furloughs are well within the Angels rights. Last month, MLB announced clubs would be allowed to furlough full-time employees beginning in June to help mitigate costs during the league's shutdown. Though as we’ve seen, not every team has taken those actions.

The Kansas City Royals, for example, announced they will not lay off or furlough any employees during the 2020 season. The Royals have also committed to paying their minor league players through August, which would cover the regular season.

That show of good faith has earned the Royals praise and raised their stock within baseball circles.

The same can be said for Pujols, who was already among the game’s most respected players. He joins the likes of David Price and Shin-Soo Choo — who each previously donated $1,000 to each minor leaguer in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers' organizations respectively — in giving back to the game.

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