Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday morning that they will pay all minor-league players $400 per week and maintain their benefits through at least May 31 or the start of the season — whichever comes first.
“MLB is taking this additional step to continue assistance for Minor League players and their families during the unexpected postponement to the start of the season,” the league said in a statement. “All players will continue to receive medical benefits and may continue to use any balance they have in the College Scholarship Plan for Continuing Education Program.”
It’s a step in the right direction for minor leaguers who are not promised steady paychecks.
Unlike major-league players, who are paid year-round, minor leaguers — whose starting pay ranges between $1,100 and $2,150 per month, are not paid during the offseason or when baseball is not being played.
When Major League Baseball postponed the start of its 2020 season, which also includes MiLB, it was decided on March 19 that minor leaguers under contract would be paid through April 8. But with the return of baseball likely not coming until June, that would have meant that minor leaguers would have zero income for at least six weeks.
Tuesday’s decision at least keeps some financial support intact, but that $400 per week is still slightly lower than unemployment insurance available in New York — which comes in around a maximum of $504 per week for 26 weeks.
For lower minor leaguers, that’s still a pay raise while those in triple-A will experience a cut.
Major League Baseball also announced that their clubs will not be able to supply minor-league clubs with players “as a result of the national health emergency.”
“We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit,” the league said. “MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.”