Hundreds of Minor League Baseball Players Cut Amid Pandemic
Late Thursday evening, hundreds of minor league baseball players were cut with hundreds more expected to lose their role as Major League Baseball prepares for the almost certainty that the minor league season will be canceled.
The Padres organization, which includes the El Paso Chihuahuas, already pledged to pay its minor league players through the end of August, around the time the minor league season normally ends.
Even though organizations have told ESPN that players would have likely been released after spring training anyways, there could be upward to 1,000 players cut during the pandemic. For some of these players, it could mean the end of their baseball career.
Across baseball, team personnel has been furloughed or released as baseball mulls over its return-to-play scenarios. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred previously said he would let MiLB teams know when players could join their clubs but he hasn't done so yet.
Each MLB team agreed to pay minor leaguers $400 per week back in April and May to cover wages, but clubs have already begun to cut stipends. Aside from the Padres, only the Mariners organization has publically come out saying they will pay players through August. Oakland informed its minor league players that players aren't receiving stipends starting in June. Players have taken this financial fallout into their own hands as well. On Friday, Dodgers pitcher David Price pledged to pay each minor league player $1,000 in the month of June.
The sad reality, however, is many baseball players could see their career come to an abrupt end due to the pandemic.