The Mariners do the right thing.
Per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Jerry Dipoto has sent a letter to all minor league players in the organization saying that the Mariners will pay them through the remainder of the 2020 season. At this time, minor league players are making $400 per week during the league-wide lockdown and will continue to do so, at least in Seattle, unless the highly unlikely scenario of a return to Minor League Baseball comes to fruition, in which case the players would then be paid their regular salaries.
This comes on the heels of a controversial decision made by the Mariners’ American League West rival Oakland Athletics, who are no longer paying their minor leaguers as of Tuesday. The A’s have come under heavy fire once the news went public, putting the other 29 teams under a microscope as they ponder their next moves.
The Mariners’ good deed aside, they still had to make some tough and unpopular decisions on Wednesday. CEO Kevin Mather sent out a statement to all non-UEC employees announcing furloughs, layoffs, and further salary reductions ranging from 10-25%.
Editor’s note: There was a tweet by Ryan Divish with Kevin Mather’s statement attached embedded here in this article; however, the tweet has since been deleted.
Divish also added that the Mariners, like many other teams around the league, have informed over 30 minor leaguers of their release from the organization. None of these players have yet to be named, though Divish says they’re players that would have been let go following Spring Training or prior to the MLB Draft under normal circumstances.
With the MLB Draft and a stacked undrafted free agency pool around the corner, as well as the expected cut of 40 MiLB affiliates in the future, these releases were an inevitability, and more are on the way league-wide.
The Mariners weren’t going to come out of this unscathed. No team was. But they’re at least handling it better than some of their peers, which is all anyone can really ask for at this point.