The Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to do right by minor league players during the coronavirus shutdown. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Freidman told Baseball America the Dodgers plan on paying their minor leaguers a stipend over the next few weeks. The major league season is indefinitely delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
How are the Dodgers planning on helping their minor league players? Are the Dodgers the only team working with their non-roster players? We have all of the answers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a stipend system in place for minor league players
Minor leaguers are not paid during spring training aside from a weekly stipend to cover food and board. Minor league players in the Tampa Bay Rays system, for example, make $400 a week. But without games or team workouts, organizations do not have to pay these players until baseball potentially returns later this year.
Andrew Freidman said the Dodgers will join the Rays and New York Mets in continuing to pay their players the allowance they normally receive during spring training. Tampa Bay also plans to give every one of their minor leaguers $800 in a one-time payment to help with expenses. The Rays began a 15-year TV deal with Fox last year that will pay the team $87 million per year on average.
The Major League Baseball Players Association is reportedly working with the league to find a solution for major league players to receive their paychecks. After that, the two sides are expected to discuss compensation for minor leaguers.
Minor league players are frustrated with Major League Baseball
Minor league players have begun voicing their frustrations on social media. Those players are not allowed to the food or facilities provided at spring training sites because they are not on the 40-man roster. The majority of minor league players who are not on 40-man rosters have been sent home from spring training facilities.
Minor league players have not received a paycheck for their services since August 2019. That will not change until either the minor league season resumes or baseball creates a new payment plan.
Former minor league catcher Eric Sims has organized a Twitter movement that provides minor leaguers with Chipolte gift cards. Minor league players are not paid during spring training or the offseason. Sims told NBC Sports that players who get stuck in extended spring training also do not get paid.
“Even when you do get paid, sometimes you have to pay rent out of your pocket, buy food, etc., And it’s not like the paycheck is much either. We are talking $400-500 paychecks. My first full season in 2011, my salary was $2,500 for the entire year.”
Minor leaguers have been directly impacted by the coronavirus
While no major league players or personnel members have tested positive for the coronavirus, the same can’t be said for their counterparts in the minor leagues. Two players in the New York Yankees system have tested positive within the last week. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Tuesday he is “not prepared” to address those reports.
Donovan Mitchell Sr., the Mets director of player relations and community outreach, tested negative for the coronavirus last week. Mitchell’s son, Utah Jazz star Donovan Jr., tested positive for the coronavirus, as did Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert. The NBA suspended its season after Gobert tested positive.