The Texas Rangers will continue to pay their minor league players $400 per week through at least the end of June, a team source confirms with InsideTheRangers.com.
In March, Major League Baseball came to an agreement for teams to pay their minor league players $400 per week through the end of May. With the end of the month rapidly approaching, the Rangers are providing at least one more month of security for their minor league players.
Tuesday night, Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein reported the Oakland Athletics were not going to pay their minor leaguers after the expiration of MLB's agreement on May 31 . Weekly payments through the end of September would have cost Oakland approximately $1.3 million. On the flip side, the Miami Marlins agreed to continue to pay their minor league players through the end of August, according to Baseball America's Kyle Glaser.
The Rangers are expected to release some minor league players in the days ahead. There is typically a wave of minor league cuts near the conclusion of spring training, but the shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus suspended camps prematurely. The Rangers decided to keep those players on minor league rosters through what would have been the first two months of the season. While there has not been an official cancellation of the minor league season, most clubs are acting as if it's a foregone conclusion.
The coronavirus shutdown has brought many challenges for MLB clubs, with a number of pay reductions and furloughs taking place throughout the league. However, a team source confirms the Rangers still have no plans to layoff or furlough any of their full-time employees. The club implemented tiered pay cuts on May 15 for some of its baseball operations employees in an effort to avoid layoffs and furloughs, which is the ultimate goal for the Rangers in this unprecedented situation.
Meanwhile, MLB and the players' union are in the middle of negotiations over the economic structure of an abbreviated 82-game season that would likely begin in early July, so long as the two sides come to an agreement on the safety and financial terms. Those negotiations got off to a rather sour start on Tuesday.
There is a lot riding on the hopes that baseball will be played in 2020. The livelihood of many involved are depending on it.
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