Gawlowski: COVID-19 adds obstacles for minor-league players

From Brendan Gawlowski at FanGraphs on March 17, 2020:

Last Wednesday night, the day before MLB shuttered spring training and delayed the start to its season, I was texting with a baseball operations employee in a National League front office. We discussed the likelihood of cancellations, the chaos that would inevitably follow, and the repercussions for players and teams. At one point in the conversation he speculated, “minor leaguers will be absolutely shafted.”

It appears that he was right. With one notable exception, minor leaguers, already unpaid during spring training and the offseason, will not collect paychecks for any games missed due to the spread of COVID-19. So far only one team, the Tampa Bay Rays, has announced plans to pay their minor league players during the delay. While not covering anyone’s salary directly, the club plans to give everyone $800 to help with expenses while they’re unable to play ball. It’s a step in the right direction, even if $800 is considerably less than the monthly salaries these players were set to earn before the disruption.

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Originally published: March 19, 2020. Last Updated: March 19, 2020.