We’re pretty much all staring at uncertain futures right now, in basically all fronts of our lives right now – but particularly in terms of financial aspects. Many businesses are shutting down temporarily (both by choice, or by order of the government – and let’s not get into those discussions here, please – I will be monitoring the comments) and it’s leaving many workers unsure of how they’re going to pay their bills. The same thing can be said for some baseball players, too.
While many of them have made plenty of money and should be able to survive just fine without being paid – that’s not true for all of them. It’s particularly not true for guys who haven’t spent much time in the Major Leagues. And it’s even more particularly true for those on the 40-man roster but without any Major League experience at all. The first year on the 40-man roster, with no Major League experience under ones belt, means a player is paid less than many of you reading this post – ($44,500 for the year if they aren’t called up to the Majors). And that comes after years of minor league wages which fell somewhere between $3,500 a year and about $11,000 a year depending on what level they were playing at.
Yesterday the MLBPA and MLB set some things in motion to start getting guys paid that were in big league spring training during the shut down. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that it has now expanded a bit today, too. Here’s what he’s got:
Reported yesterday (see below) on NRIs Union excluded from stipend. Today Union expanded program to include:
1. Any Player on a 40-man roster as of 3/13/20 (including players on optional assignment as of that date); and
2. Any NRI who had at least one day of MLB service in ‘19. https://t.co/5wx9ykwif4
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 17, 2020
That’s a good start – especially for those guys who haven’t had big league time and gotten paid true big league salaries yet and likely haven’t made millions of dollars in their careers.
As of this time, players in minor league camp who have been sent home (though in special cases some are remaining in their spring training areas as they can’t get home – Venezuela for example has shut their borders down and even citizens outside of the country can’t get into the country now), are not getting paid anything – and haven’t been paid since last August. At this point, two teams have said they will help out and pay their minor leagues *something*. Tampa Bay and Los Angeles (Dodgers) are currently the only two who are confirmed to have plans in place – but two other teams are said to be working on something according to Kyle Glaser of Baseball America.
Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are ironing out things for the top of the chain first. But have said that once that is complete they will then begin trying to figure out how to do something for minor league players, as well as the workers at the stadiums – but no specifics were given beyond that.