Athletics Will Pay Employees Through May 31

John Hickey

The Oakland A’s will join 29 of the other 30 teams in Major League Baseball and pay their employees through May 31.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported her sources were telling her that the A’s had told their employees that they'd continued to be paid, which is the course most teams decided to take with the majority of big-league clubs struggling through a game-less Major League Baseball season.

Earlier in the week MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred let clubs know they had permission to furlough employees and reduce their pay as of May 1. The Tampa Bay Rays, like the A’s a smaller market club trying to get a new stadium built, decided to go that route.

There were reports that the A’s were considering going even further than the Rays in cutting costs, but in the end the team decided against that.

Some of the other 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. The A’s, however, decided against reducing employees’ pay, as well

The Major League season was supposed to start on March 26, but the last 10 days of spring training and all of the regular season to date has been scratched. MLB has hopes to get a season started, perhaps by June.

Relatively speaking the A’s expenses are 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. That led to the comparison with the Rays and the thought that Oakland might decide to go the Tampa route.

However, with the new stadium on the line, a spate of bad public relations wouldn’t have helped get the Howard Terminal park, which has yet to get off the drawing table, going.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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