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.
Major League Baseball announces pay for minor league players through May 31st or until the beginning of the minor league season. pic.twitter.com/VdTOzP2gwe— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) March 31, 2020
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.
Good news: All minor league players will be receiving $400 a week from Major League Baseball teams through at least May 31, source tells ESPN. They’ll receive medical benefits, too. Announcement by the league is expected soon.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 31, 2020
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.