Thursday, minor league baseball surprised nobody by announcing their season will be delayed:
Statement from Minor League Baseball ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/H4RlAyPxxw— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) March 12, 2020
For the 218 players the Cubs have in minor-league camp, their next actual paycheck arrival date is uncertain at best. Will ownership and management step up to value their contributions?
With the recent Cubs minor league pay hikes, system prospects will make $400-$700 per week in-season. Needless to say, if the season hasn't started, all they receive is a per diem. If ownership pays for each player, based on the level at which they scrimmage, 218 times $500 per week or so would go quite a ways toward creating some internal goodwill.
With MLB players, they've already mastered the game, to an extent. Younger players still have to play to develop, and that involves playing against whoever, and wherever. With a back fields environment, contact with more at-risk people can, and should, be limited. Or, the team could shut the facilities down almost entirely. Nonetheless, younger players are best served if they can eat. Here’s what Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said about that:
Minor league players haven't been paid since the end of last season, and won't get their 1st paycheck until after opening day.— Jake Seiner (@Jake_Seiner) March 12, 2020
Here's Cubs' Theo Epstein asked if those players will get special considerations. pic.twitter.com/INKf0hV0zF
I'm still in spin-cycle mode. So much has happened recently, that what mattered before pales in comparison to bigger news. To improve the pipeline, should Tom Ricketts be willing to invest $100,000 or so per week? Would other owners object? Would Commissioner Rob Manfred approve? About now, I don't care about the well-being of the portfolios of billionaires. I want the players in the pipeline to be able to afford food. The organization won't get better if the younger players don't.