A's Only MLB Team Yet to Announce a plan on Paying Employees through May 31

John Hickey

To this point (midday Wednesday) the Oakland A’s have yet to let their workers know if they will be paid through May 31 with the sport in lockdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

All big league teams have made a decision on that; 28 of the 30 teams have committed to having personnel paid through May 31 with the exception of the Tampa Bay Rays, which on Tuesday became the first team to aggressively slash expenses, furloughing some full-time employees and reducing the pay of other employees.

Some of the 28 clubs who have committed to paying employees through May 31 have added some caveats, including ending 401-K payments and reducing salaries for the time being.

Meanwhile the A’s haven’t said one way or another, although a story from theathletic.com suggests that Oakland management may be considering going further than the Rays after a decision from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred lets teams furlough employees and reduce their pay.

The story said the club is “discussing extensive layoffs” that could result in a slimmer staff both on the business and baseball sides.

And the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that some A's employees have already had their hours reduced.

Relatively speaking the A’s expenses not onerous. They expended almost $106 million last year in making it to the American League Wild Card game, and entering 2020 their projected payroll was just about $96 million, in the bottom quarter of all big-league teams.

But the club, owned by John Fisher, son of the founder of The Gap, is trying to build a privately funded stadium north of Jack London Square at Howard Terminal, and those expenses are not ones facing most other teams.

One of the teams that is facing the same kind of issues is Tampa Bay. The Rays also are trying to negotiate their way to a new baseball stadium.

Oakland club president Dave Kaval, usually quick to be in the public eye, has not responded to requests for comment.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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