The future of the major and minor league baseball seasons are very uncertain right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Major League Baseball is giving its minor league players a little security over the next two months.
In a statement on Tuesday, MLB announced that its initiative to pay minor league players has been extended through May 31.
Major League Baseball announced today that it has extended the league-wide initiative of financial support for Minor League players through May 31st or until the beginning of the minor league season – whichever occurs first. MLB is taking this additional step to continue assistance for Minor League players and their families during the unexpected postponement to the start of the season. All players will continue to receive medical benefits and may continue to use any balance they have in the College Scholarship Plan or Continuing Education Program.
MLB owners had originally committed to paying minor leaguers through April 8, which was the date the minor league season was supposed to begin. It’s been clear for weeks that the minor league season would not start on time, but the recent extension of the nationwide social distancing guidelines through April 30 made it official.
Minor league players will be paid $400 a week, which is a raise for players in the lower minors and a pay cut for players in the upper minors. They will also continue to receive medical benefits, which is hugely important as the coronavirus continues to spread. MLB and the players association reached an agreement on salary and service time on Thursday, but since minor league players do not have a union, they have to depend on the largesse of their major league clubs for compensation.
There’s no way to predict when or if the MLB season will start in 2020, and the minor leagues are in the same position. MLB players are open to playing games without fans, but no plan has been floated to salvage a minor league baseball season — if that’s even possible.
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