Minor League Baseball players don’t get paid very much. Sure, some of them do all right financially because they’ve been paid large bonuses after being drafted, but that really only applies to first-round picks and perhaps a few others. Most minor leaguers make less than $10,000 a year, and almost all of them have to have offseason jobs to make ends meet.
With the 2020 MLB and minor-league seasons on hold and perhaps in jeopardy of not happening at all, this announcement from MLB Tuesday morning is welcome news.
Major League Baseball announced today that it has extended the league-wide initiative of financial support for Minor League players through May 31 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. This follows MLB’s March 19 announcement that provided interim support to Minor League players through April 8, which covered the period until the originally scheduled start of the minor league season.
Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, this is the dollar amount:
Good news: All minor league players will be receiving $400 a week from Major League Baseball teams through at least May 31, source tells ESPN. They’ll receive medical benefits, too. Announcement by the league is expected soon.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 31, 2020
It might not be a huge amount of money, but in our current situation where just about every aspect of life is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, this will be of great help to minor-league players. The exceptions to this plan are players who are signed to Major League contracts; players who are already receiving housing, food or other services from Clubs; and players on the Restricted, Voluntary Retired, Disqualified or Ineligible Lists. In addition, each Club will make its own arrangements to provide support to players on Dominican Summer League rosters during the same period.
MLB has done well by its employees so far. In addition to this announcement, MLB has announced a joint $1 million MLB-MLBPA fund to speed food assistance to those impacted by the crisis and a 30-club, $30 million effort to support ballpark workers. MLB has also partnered with Fanatics to manufacture masks and hospital gowns at the factory and from materials usually used to make MLB jerseys. The much-needed supplies will first be sent to support healthcare workers and emergency personnel in Pennsylvania, where the factory is located, with the intention of expanding. Individual clubs will continue to announce more details surrounding support for their local communities.
Thanks is due to Major League Baseball and its 30 teams for being proactive in giving assistance where it’s needed during this crisis. Hopefully, we’ll be back to living our usual lives soon, and baseball will be a part of it during 2020.