When the Los Angeles Dodgers announced their group of 2020 Spring Training non-roster invitees back in January, there was no telling the domino effect it would eventually have for some players.
It has hardly been business as usual for Major League Baseball since commissioner Rob Manfred cancelled all remaining Spring Training games and delayed the start of the season. Opening Day was then pushed back a second time, and now isn’t expected to be held until June or potentially July.
With the originally scheduled Opening Day date — March 26 — passing last week, it created a need for MLB and the MLB Players Association to reach an agreement on various business matters. The focus of that lied on service time, which players secured even if the entire 2020 season is lost.
There also was a financial commitment made to players on 40-man rosters. Meanwhile, those who weren’t but have at least one day of Major League service time and still were part of big league camp at the middle of last month qualified for financial assistance from the MLBPA, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Good news from MLBPA: The union will distribute money to any non-roster player with at least one day of major league service who was still in big league camp as of March 13. The payouts depend on service time:
0-1 year: $5,000
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 3, 2020
As further explained by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the MLBPA Financial Assistance Program is available to players on a voluntary and application basis:
This financial assistance is voluntary. Meant to help the many veterans who'd been in spring training and not on major league deals. Called the MLBPA Financial Assistance Program, voted on by union's eight-member executive subcommittee.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) April 3, 2020
The Dodgers had several players meet the requirement and qualify for the various tiers of financial support: Rocky Gale, Terrance Gore, Reymin Guduan, José Lobáton, Zach McAllister, Edubray Ramos and Tyler White.
On the position-player side, White saw action in 13 Cactus League games, Gale and Gore each appeared in eight, and Lobáton played seven. White was designated for assignment in February but cleared waivers, remained with the organization and returned as a non-roster invitee.
Guduan made six relief appearances, Ramos logged five, and McAllister pitched in three games out of the bullpen.
In terms of MLB service time, Lobáton (seven years, 41 days) and McAllister (six years, 49 days) qualify for the most financial assistance from the MLBPA. Ramos lands in the three to five years category, White is two to three years, Gore is within the one to two-year range, and Gale and Guduan both have less than a year.
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