Mariners Cutting Staff Salaries to Avoid COVID-19 Layoffs, Furloughs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 26: A general view of a Seattle Mariners hat and a baseball glove during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on June 26, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Seattle Mariners will cut the salaries of their baseball operations department and field staff by 20 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Athletic's Corey Brock.

The action will go into effect June 1 and extend through Oct. 31. Employees making less than $60,000 will be exempted.

"We wanted to make sure we did the right thing and kept people afloat during a difficult time," general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

Dipoto told Brock those affected by the cuts were content with the decision since it meant the Mariners won't lay employees off or place them on furlough for the time being.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on April 19 that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was suspending Uniform Employee Contracts. The step allowed teams to trigger pay cuts or furloughs starting May 1 if they so chose.

Detroit Tigers CEO Christopher Ilitch said shortly after the report that the organization wasn't planning any layoffs or furloughs.

On Saturday, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury shared a letter from Philadelphia Phillies managing partner John Middleton saying the franchise would continue paying its full-time employees through October. Middleton acknowledged "other cost-cutting alternatives" were possible, however.

MLB has yet to finalize a date when it intends to begin the 2020 season.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported owners agreed to a plan in which brief training camps would start in June ahead of Opening Day on July 1. The proposal was forwarded to the MLB Players Association for final approval.