Cubs Employees Reportedly Taking Pay Cuts; Guaranteed Employment Through June

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 20, 2020

FILE - In this April 16, 2020, file photo, Wrigley Field's marquee displays Lakeview Pantry volunteer information in Chicago. With no games being played, recent sports headlines have centered around hopes and dreams — namely, the uncharted path leagues and teams must navigate to return to competition in the wake of the pandemic.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs have become the latest team to enact cost-saving measures amid Major League Baseball's hiatus. 

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, employment has been guaranteed through the end of June, though staff will take pay cuts of up to 15 percent. 

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Chicago Cubs employees will be taking pay cuts and have been guaranteed employment through at least the end of June, sources familiar with an employee call today told ESPN. A majority of the cuts will be for 15% or less. The hope is that baseball is back in June and no furloughs.

Passan notes the team is taking steps with the hope baseball is able to return sometime in June.

The Cubs, meanwhile, become one of MLB's richest clubs to alter its payroll because of the coronavirus pandemic. Forbes named the team the 14th-most valuable sports franchise in the world in 2019, worth an estimated $3.1 billion. Forbes estimated the team's majority owners, the Ricketts family, are worth $2.7 billion. 

Ownership also recently completed at $550 million renovation to Wrigley Field and the surrounding area.

Still, with no games scheduled currently, Chicago is looking at ways to cut losses from the books and using employee salaries as the next available option. 

The Cubs' front-office directory lists 349 employees, per the team's website

Employee salary reductions come as owners attempt to push players into an unprecedented revenue-sharing agreement, which would upend MLB's longstanding economic structure. Under such a plan, which MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark called a nonstarter, players would see a sizable reduction in salary this season. 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said owners could face up to $4 billion in losses should the season become unplayable, with teams expected to lose $640,000 per game played without fans.

Star players like Bryce Harper, Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer have already come out against the proposed revenue-sharing plan, arguing it's the players who are assuming the risk by taking the field. 

As both sides continue to negotiate an agreement to play games this year, the Cubs are hoping they will not have to take any further measures to protect their bottom line.