With Major League Baseball halting operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, teams and players have been thrust into a state of uncertainty.
When MLB initially delayed the start of the season, it was by two weeks, and with a target goal of staging Opening Day on April 9. That appeared unlikely at the time, and was officially ruled out as a possibility on Monday.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the league would adhere to updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that events of more than 50 people be cancelled for the next eight weeks. Thus, the earliest Opening Day of the 2020 season will be held is mid-May.
On top of juggling that, pay for Minor League players (and those not on a 40-man roster) has become a pressing matter. The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams that already committed to paying Minor Leaguers.
According to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman viewed it as an integral step, given the players’ preparation for the season:
“Our players came in after a winter of training with an expectation that, during spring training, we would provide assistance with housing and meals,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers president of baseball operations. “Obviously, their spring training ended abruptly. Therefore, we wanted to help by providing their remaining allowance.
“Our hope was to alleviate some of their immediate concerns, as all of baseball continues to navigate this unprecedented situation.”
MLB is expected to formally submit a directive to all teams after first striking an agreement with the MLB Players Association on how to compensate those on 40-man rosters.
The Dodgers and all other teams did move to provide relief to stadium employees by combining for a $30 million pledge.
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