The minor-league stipend was being reduced from $400 a week to $300 a week by the organization. Doolittle said the big-leaguers will close the gap.
"After hearing that Nationals minor league players are facing additional pay cuts, the current members of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball club will be coming together and committing funds to make whole the lost wages from their weekly stipends," he tweeted.
"All of us were minor leaguers at one point in our careers and we know how important the weekly stipends are for them and their families during these uncertain times.
"Minor leaguers are an essential part of our organization and they are bearing the heaviest burden of this situation as their season is likely to be cancelled. We recognize and want to stand with them and show our support."
The Nationals' decision to reduce the weekly stipend for minor-league players ran counter to their original assertion that they would not -- as well as to what some other teams in the league are doing. Mike Rizzo, who was a minor-league player and an area scout trying to make ends meet at the start of his career, has a personal understanding of the process. He said on March 20 the Nationals would be protecting the minor-league salaries as agreed upon across the sport.
"In addition, very, very glad to see that Major League Baseball is beginning to take care of minor league players," Rizzo said then. "That's something that we were certainly prepared to do without MLB's authority, if it came to that. We did want to wait to see what Major League Baseball would do for us to make our move. These minor-league players are not only of great importance to Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals -- these are the next star players for the Nationals; these are the next union members for the MLBPA."
In the end, the current union members had to step in to make sure the stipends were maintained when a decision seemingly above Rizzo was made.
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