Major League Baseball clubs will do their best to operate as close to normal as possible for the next 30 days as the season remains shelved because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports each team has assured their full-time employees there will be no staff changes through the end of April. What that means for May remains unknown as franchises continue to build out contingency plans.
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is hoping to avoid layoffs altogether but acknowledged he won't be in charge of those decisions.
"That's a situation that is not unique to baseball, unfortunately," Klentak said, via Salisbury. "A lot of decisions will be made above my pay grade, obviously. For all of us, we are hopeful that we'll resume and not have to take measures like that. We trust that the Phillies are owned and run by very good people—and have been for a long time. Everybody is trying to do the best thing right now."
MLB and the players association recently struck a deal to advance $170 million in salaries to players while the season remains on hold. What was originally supposed to be a two-week delay for Opening Day has now become an indefinite suspension. On March 16, commissioner Rob Manfred said the April 9 start date originally floated was no longer possible.
In the meantime, there has been an outpouring of support for game-day stadium workers throughout the league. Major League Baseball is leading that charge by committing $30 million for ballpark employees, with each team chipping in $1 million, even as some continue to raise funds locally. The San Francisco Giants on Wednesday announced another $700,000 investment to help the staff at Oracle Park during the pandemic.
Yet the same has not been the case for full-time team employees.
On Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported the Los Angeles Angels, L.A. Dodgers, San Diego Padres and the Giants have take procedural steps necessary to conduct layoffs. In practice, that means those teams have sent official notes to their employees warning of job cuts.
Klentak is hoping those measures can be avoided. Until there's a clear picture of when baseball can return, though, teams have little choice but to at least prepare for drastic measures. That may mean job security in April with uncertainty waiting at the end of the month.