Another team has joined the Mariners in taking care of their minor leaguers.
Per Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman, the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals have committed to paying their minor league players $400 on a per-week basis through August 31, roughly around the same time the MiLB season was set to end. Players will also have full access to all of their benefits, including health insurance.
This comes two days after the Seattle Mariners alerted their own minor league players that they would be paying them through the 2020 season, following the PR disaster of the Oakland Athletics’ decision to cut payments to their minor leaguers and personnel.
The Twins and Royals are executing their fight against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic a bit better than the Mariners at this point, however. Unlike the Mariners, the Twins and Royals will not be furloughing and enacting pay cuts on their non-baseball personnel as of this time, nor do they have any plans to release any of their minor leaguers.
The Mariners, on the other hand, have informed employees that some in the organization will be furloughed, laid off, or be forced to take a 15-20% pay cut. They’ve also reportedly cut over 50 players from their minor league system, though names and exact numbers have yet to be released.
Each team, of course, is in a different position than the other, both financially and morally. This isn’t to diminish the good the Mariners did this week, but the Twins’ and Royals’ moves today does make one wonder if Seattle could have handled this situation in a better manner that didn’t result in people losing their livelihood.
We’ll have to wait and see the extent the M’s have gone in offloading payroll, as well as which teams will follow in Seattle, Kansas City, and Minnesota’s footsteps.