As the MLB season continues to stay in limbo, many of the league’s franchises are doing their part to keep ballpark staff compensated for the time being. Majority of MLB teams are committed to paying their baseball operations staff through at least the month of May, ESPN reports.
The move comes after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laid out a plan to enact pay cuts or furlough employees to cover revenue losses from lack of games. Manfred, who has maintained that baseball will return in 2020, intended to suspend Uniform Employee Contracts for non-playing personnel on May 1 though many clubs have forged their own plans to keep baseball operations staff on the payroll for weeks to come.
“We informed the group that we will continue to pay them through May 31, while we evaluate the impact of the coronavirus on the 2020 season,” said Pittsburgh Pirates President Travis Williams. “We also told them that we are exploring an initial set of tiered salary reductions for highly-compensated employees in baseball and business operations, as well as other types of personnel adjustments. Part of what makes this situation so difficult is that nobody truly knows with absolute certainty what the short-term and long-term outlook will be moving forward. The coronavirus and its impact on our community and our sport evolves by the day. We wish that we didn’t have to have these conversations, but they have become necessary as this crisis continues to impact our operations.”
Other teams reportedly committed to paying through May 31 include the Rockies, Twins, Red Sox, Astrows and Brewers. However, high-revenue franchises like the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and World Series champs Nationals have not given game-day employees any guarantee of further payment.
In San Diego, the Padres will keep all baseball operation staff paid through October to cover what would have been a typical season. That measure will reportedly entail reductions in pay for those earning $60,000 and up but does not cover employees working in the Padres business side. Those staffers are currently guaranteed salary through May 15.
There is no official word on when or how the season may get underway. Recent reports suggest the league could station teams in either Florida, Arizona or Texas for closed-door games, while Dr. Anthony Fauci shared a scenario in which games could admit a limited number of fans so long as they practice necessary distancing to keep safe from the spread of COVID-19.