Twins, Royals, Astros and Reds to Pay Minor Leaguers for Entire Year, With No Releases

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With teams across the league releasing minor league players in droves, the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals are bucking the trend by committing to paying all of their minor league players through the entire 2020 season, as reported by MLB Network's Jon Heyman and ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Passan later reported that the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros are also committing to pay their minor league players through the end of the season.

The Twins, Royals and Astros organizations will pay their minor leaguers their typical $400 weekly stipends through Aug. 31, which is when the minor league season would end, along with full benefits. The Reds will pay their players through Sept. 7.

Passan reported hundreds of minor league cuts on Thursday, with more expected in the coming days and weeks. That a handful of teams are pledging to stand by their minor league systems is a welcomed surprise around the league.

The Twins have around 150 minor league players, according to La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune.

"Understand this: The minor league players, the players you'll never know about, the players that never get out of rookie ball or High-A, those players have as much impact on the growth of our game than 10-year or 15-year veteran players," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a Friday conference call, per The Athletic's Alec Lewis. "They have as much opportunity to influence the growth of our game as those individuals who played for a long time because those individuals go back into their communities and teach the game, work in academies, are JUCO coaches, college coaches, scouts, coaches in pro baseball. 

"They're growing the game constantly because they're so passionate about it. So we felt it was really, really important not to release one minor league player during this time, a time we needed to stand behind them."