Mariners to Pay Minor League Players Through End of Season Amid Pandemic

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 28, 2020

In an otherwise empty ballpark, a grounds crew member continues to keep the Seattle Mariners' field in playing shape as the ballpark goes into its seventh week without baseball played because of the coronavirus outbreak Monday, May 11, 2020, in Seattle. A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Major League Baseball owners have given the go-ahead to making a proposal to the players' union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has told the organization's minor leaguers that the team will continue to pay them through the remainder of the 2020 season, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Divish also noted that Seattle released a "large group of minor league players" Wednesday.

The start of the MLB campaign has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same goes for minor league ball, but Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on April 27 that a minors campaign will "probably not" happen this year.

The Mariners' news comes amid word that the Oakland Athletics told their minor leaguers that they will not pay them after May 31, per Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated.

"The A's currently field eight minor league teams," Apstein wrote. "At 25-man rosters, weekly payments running through September would amount to approximately $1.3 million. Forbes estimates the net worth of Oakland owner John J. Fisher, whose parents founded the Gap, at $2.1 billion. The A's declined to comment."

Per Kyle Glaser of Baseball America, the norm around the league is for teams to pay minor leaguers in some fashion after May 31.

The Chicago White Sox will pay minor leaguers through June, and the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres will do so through August.

The Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves will pay minor leaguers "at least" through June, with David O'Brien of The Athletic providing the report on the defending National League East champions.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay their minor leaguers past May 31.

All of those franchises plan to provide $400 per week for each minor leaguer. The Philadelphia Phillies will continue to pay their players but at a reduced rate beginning in June.

Other teams are making plans to pay minor leaguers, per Glaser.

As for Seattle, the M's have seven minor league affiliates in the United States and Dominican Republic.