Major League Baseball to Pay MiLB Players Through May Amid COVID-19 Hiatus

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2020

A baseball rests on the turf at Alamo Heights High School's baseball field in San Antonio, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Because of COVID-19 outbreak, the school's season may be canceled. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Major League Baseball teams will continue to pay their minor league players through at least May 31 amid the suspension of play because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, all minor league players will receive $400 per week and medical benefits as part of the plan. Per Passan, Baseball America's J.J. Cooper noted that the pay represents a raise for lower minor league players, while veterans will make less than they otherwise would have.

Minor League Baseball officially suspended its seasons March 12 following Major League Baseball's decision to do the same.

Two weeks ago, Major League Baseball announced its intention to pay minor league players through April 8, but with no immediate end in sight to the suspension of the season, the decision was made to extend the timeline.

Despite the lack of clarity, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was confident last week when talking on ESPN's SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt about the eventual resumption of the 2020 season: "The one thing I know for sure is baseball will be back. Whenever it's safe to play, we'll be back. Our fans will be back. Our players will be back. And we will be part of the recovery, the healing in this country, from this particular pandemic."

Manfred also said he was optimistic that the league could start "gearing back up" at some point in May.

He acknowledged that a 162-game MLB season is unlikely at this point, which means the minor league seasons figure to be shortened as well.

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That could have significantly impacted the pay of minor league players, but by agreeing to pay them while no baseball is being played, some of the sting has been taken away.