The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it on just about every level. The effects have hit the sports landscape as well, including for those of us who cover the games, or lack thereof. Major League Baseball could feel the effects soon, and not just the players.
Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic reported Sunday that non-playing employees within the game could be furloughed during the national emergency:
Effective May 1, Commissioner Rob Manfred will suspend Uniform Employee Contracts, enabling teams to furlough employees or reduce their pay, according to major-league sources. Teams would not be required to take such measures, but baseball’s decision would provide the possibility of relief for clubs facing the most significant financial duress as the 2020 season remains on hold.
A club’s nonplaying personnel includes managers and coaches at the major- and minor-league levels, some front-office staffers and scouts. Once baseball suspends the contracts of those employees, clubs can talk to them about a variety of adjustments, including the deferral of pay, sources said. The suspension will allow clubs to continue those employees’ health benefits.
There is a similar clause in uniform player contracts as well, though MLB and the players association reached agreement on March 27 on how players would be paid in 2020.
Three teams to date have been reported to committing to pay their employees through at least May 31 — the Braves, the Phillies, and the Giants. In addition, commissioner Rob Manfred sent a memo last week committing to play league employees through the end of May, with senior staff reducing salary by an average of 35 percent this year, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
- Gavin Lux, 8-4 so far in the MLB The Show Players League, has games scheduled both Monday and Tuesday night beginning at 6 p.m. PT. Lux on Monday plays Brett Phillips, Luke Jackson, Amir Garrett, and Ty Buttrey, then on Tuesday plays against Lucas Giolito, Rhys Hoskins, and Dwight Smith, Jr., with games streamed on Lux’s Twitch channel.
- Among the Dodgers acution items in the All-in Challenge to raise money for food for people in need: renting Dodger Stadium for a 7-inning softball game for 50 players and 500 fans; and spending a day at the ballpark with Jaime and Jorge Jarrín.
- Daniel Kramer at MLB.com picked a player from each National League West team who could be a future manager, with Justin Turner the Dodgers player picked.