Major League Baseball announced Thursday that it has devised a plan that will pay minor league players from Thursday until the scheduled start of the minor league season on April 8.
MLB said it is also working on a plan from April 9 until whenever the season eventually starts. The baseball season is on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"Each player who is under a Minor League Uniform Player Contract will receive a lump sum equal to the allowances that would have been paid through April 8th," MLB said in a statement. "The exceptions to this plan are non-40-man-roster players who are already receiving Major League allowances; players who are currently receiving housing, food or other services from Clubs; and players who were not participating in, or expected to participate in, Minor League Spring Training."
Minor league players aren't highly paid nor are they eligible for unemployment benefits due to being under contract with clubs. The Cleveland Indians said they will be paying their minor leaguers a $400 weekly stipend.
"One of the things we want to make sure we continue to do as an organization is support our players and staff as best as we possibly could," president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti told reporters on a conference call. "With respect to our minor league guys, we recognize the hardship this could impose upon them and so we wanted to make sure we did our part to try to help them as best as we possibly could, especially in the transition back home."
MLB also has put together a plan to help pay ballpark workers. Earlier this week, the entity announced a $30 million project, with each team donating $1 million toward the cause.
"MLB takes the community impact of this crisis seriously," the organization said in Thursday's statement. "We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts to protect fans, players and ballpark workers, and we urge all baseball fans to follow suit."
--Field Level Media