Source: New York Mets will pay minor leaguers through August

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — The New York Mets are committed to paying their minor league players through the end of August, a source confirmed to the Daily News.

The Mets join a handful of other teams — including the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners — to announce it will pay the club’s minor leaguers not currently on the 40-man roster their current weekly $400 stipend this summer.

Major League Baseball had committed to paying minor league players through the end of May, and the league left it up to individual clubs to extend salaries beyond the end of that month.

The Oakland A’s last month announced they would stop paying their minor leaguers their $400 weekly stipend beyond May 31. Following enormous public backlash, A’s owner John Fisher reversed course and agreed to pay his players through the end of the scheduled minor-league season.

“I’ve listened to our fans and others, and there is no question that this is the right thing to do,” Fisher told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “We clearly got this decision wrong. These players represent our future and we will immediately begin paying our minor-league players. I take responsibility and I’m making it right.”

The fallout from the coronavirus and the anticipated cancellation of the 2020 minor league season caused teams last month to release hundreds of minor leaguers from their farm systems. The minor leagues have been devastated, with reports indicating that at the end of this year upwards of 1,000 players could see their baseball careers end.

The Mets last month released players from their organization and implemented pay cuts for employees — which went into effect on June 1. The exact number of players the Mets released is not known.

The average minor leaguer is paid based on the level of competition in a club’s farm system. In 2020, before the coronavirus suspended major professional sports leagues, Class A minor league players were scheduled to make $290/week, Class AA $350/week and Class AAA $502/week. That comes out to roughly $4,800 for three-month short season leagues to around $14,000 for five months at Class AAA.

Teams are looking to reduce and eliminate costs amid the prospect of a shortened major league season caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

MLB and the Players Association have persisted in negotiations that have lasted nearly six weeks to get the season started.

As of Sunday morning, the league had rejected the union’s 70-game proposal with full prorated salaries. The union is expected to announce by Monday whether it will accept MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s 60-game proposal. Expanded playoffs will serve as the MLBPA’s bargaining chip.


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