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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Top Staff Averaging 35 Percent Paycut This Year

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 15, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media at the owners meeting in Arlington, Texas. Major League Baseball is cutting the salary of senior staff by an average of 35% for this year and is guaranteeing paychecks to its full-time employees of its central office through May. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Tuesday, April 14, 2020.  (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and his top executives are slashing their salaries for the remainder of the year. 

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, Manfred and the most senior of MLB officials are reducing their pay by an average of 35 percent, with less senior execs receiving smaller reductions. 

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and his top lieutenants are taking on average a 35* percent paycut this year. Among the high ranking execs in this group, less senior execs are believed taking a slightly lower paycut. 35 percent is the average.

The move comes as MLB owners are pushing for revenue sharing with players in an unprecedented move to reshape the economic structure of the sport amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

TMZ notes Manfred has been rumored to earn an $11 million annual salary, putting a 35 percent paycut around $4 million in losses. 

Speaking to CNN during a town hall Thursday night, the commissioner continued to explain the league's financial situation, saying owners could lose billions if the season is fully canceled. 

"The economic effects are devastating, frankly, for the clubs," Manfred said. "We're a big business, but we're a seasonal business. And unfortunately, this crisis began at kind of a low point for us in terms of revenue. We hadn't quite started our season yet. And if we don't play a season, the losses for the owners could approach $4 billion."

There's little evidence to support the notion of MLB canceling the season. In fact, the owners are presenting an 82-game proposal to players, but tucked inside is a revenue-sharing plan that would see athletes earn less than ever before.

Multiple players, including Bryce Harper, Blake Snell and Nolan Arenado, have already voiced strong opposition to the financial restructuring. So too has MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, who called the plan a nonstarter, per Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic. 

The salary reductions in MLB's headquarters come as individual clubs begin looking at similar cuts as well as employee furloughs. 

Multiple organizations have begun trimming their expenses.

The Seattle Mariners will cut 20 percent of salaries from those making more than $60,000 per year from June 1 to October 3. The Miami Marlins are furloughing 40 percent of their baseball operations staff also starting June 1 and will evaluate their plans monthly, per Rosenthal. The Cincinnati Reds will furlough 25 percent of their employees at the same time.

There currently remains no timeline for a decision on whether or not to restart the MLB season. 

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