When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought the world to a halt earlier this year, Major League Baseball was among the countless entities that faced significant financial implications.
That was a factor as the league and MLB Players Association negotiated an agreement for what ultimately became a 60-game schedule. Players sought full prorated salaries that were agreed to in initial discussions, while team owners maintained such a financial commitment was not feasible for a season in which health regulations would prevent fans from attending games.
The Minor League season was cancelled as another cost-saving measure, and a slew of teams also furloughed employees before Opening Day eventually rolled around toward the end of July. The Los Angeles Dodgers implemented a tiered system of salary reductions to prevent furloughs and layoffs.
However, they reportedly are among the teams that have let go of professional scouts this week, according to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic:
The Dodgers have sliced their pro scouting department as well, 4-5 guys axed, sources say.
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) September 15, 2020
With scouts not permitted to attend games or visit alternate training sites, many worried about the viability of professionals in the industry. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves are among the teams that made significant cuts throughout their respective organizations.
The impact a scout can have was evident during 2020 MLB Draft, when the Dodgers went with multiple players who were evaluated by Marty Lamb. “He does a great job,” Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said.
“It does seem to kind of fall that way but it’s not anything we pre-plan. It just kind of keeps falling that way. To their credit, I think Louisville, Vanderbilt and college programs in that area really do a good job of recruiting and developing talent. I think there’s a pipeline they create and then a lot of the similar skills and attributes they look for, we like also.
Unfortunately, more layoffs are expected in the coming weeks and month ahead as contracts expire and the future of the Minor League system remains in significant doubt.
Dodgers continued paying Minor League players
As it began to appear increasingly likely the 2020 MiLB season would be cancelled, the Dodgers were among the organizations who continued paying their players. David Price also personally contributed $1,000 to each player who was not on the team’s 40-man roster.
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