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Minor league players to receive pay during coronavirus shutdown

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Eligible minor league players will receive $400 per week until play resumes.

MLB Opening Day postponed Due To Coronavirus Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday morning that it had “extended its league-wide initiative of financial support for minor league players through March 31 or until the beginning of the minor league season — whichever occurs first” due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. This initiative is an update to MLB’s March 17 proposal, which had planned to provide interim support to eligible minor leaguers until April 8.

The payment amounts to $400 per week, which is poverty-level income but still better than the alternative with no games to play. The statement also noted that players will continue to receive medical and other benefits, such as the College Scholarship and Continuing Education Plans. Exceptions are made for players with major league contracts, as well as those already receiving room and board from their organizations and those who are on the Restricted, Voluntary Retired, Disqualified and Ineligible lists.

As a formality, MLB told Minor League Baseball that big league clubs would not be able to provide players for minor league teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the suspension of minor league contracts. The funds from Tuesday’s announcement are expected to provide relief in lieu of previous contractual conditions.