Report: Non-Roster Players Invited to Spring Training to Receive Voluntary Payouts During MLB Delay

Max Goodman

Last week, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA announced an agreement featuring pro-rated salaries to be split between players during the novel coronavirus pandemic and subsequent postponement of Opening Day.

Now, non-roster players across the league that had invites to Spring Training – and those not covered under the union's advance payment – will reportedly receive financial support as well.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, more than 300 players will be eligible to receive payments through this support program created by the players' union. In order to be eligible, players must have at least one day of Major League service time and must've still been at a big-league camp as of March 13.

Designed to help the players and families that need support the most, the payments will be voluntary. Therefore, non-roster invitees that have more financial security during these unprecedented times can decline and make sure the money goes to the right place.

READ: Gerrit Cole and his wife pledge "significant" donation to COVID-19 relief in NYC

Payouts will be split into five tiers, separated by big-league service time. Those who have been in the league for north of six years can receive as much as $50,000. If interested, players will apply to the union directly to be given the payouts.

At Yankees camp, initially 19 non-roster players were invited to Spring Training. That number grew as a couple additional names were added to the list in the first few weeks after pitchers and catchers reported.

Among them, only a few have more than six years of service time in their careers. Catcher Chris Iannetta leads the pack with 12.154 while southpaw Luis Avilán (6.146) and right-hander Dan Otero (6.124) round out the group. 

Others eligible for the payouts include Chad Bettis, Zack Granite, David Hale, Rosell Herrera, Erik Kratz, Tyler Lyons, Josh Thole, Nick Tropeano and Tony Zych.

A bit of monetary support will certainly be appreciated, but nothing can replace the desire to be out on the field. Several non-roster players signed Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training with a legitimate chance to fight for a big-league roster spot this spring. With the season pushed back and no end to the postponement in sight, those opportunities appear to be slowly slipping away.

That's especially the case for those with special, longtime connections to the Bronx Bombers. For instance, Granite – a native of Staten Island – and Tropeano – originally from West Islip on Long Island – both had a shot to earn a role on the team they've been fans of for their entire lives. Now, unforeseen circumstances stand between them and their aspirations to play in pinstripes in 2020.

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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