It has been a long time since we have had actual baseball news to talk about. Sure, we have had some pitchers decide to take advantage of the season continuing to be in jeopardy by going under the knife now, but beyond that it has been just reporting about outlier possibilities for how the league could operate in 2020 with a smattering of MLB players playing video games against each other.
However, there are some important issues as we go forward that still need addressing. The league has seen its revenues get wiped out and without games, employees across the league have had their livelihoods get threatened. Some clubs, including the Braves as an example, had already taken steps to commit at least partially to pay team employees for now and/or support them in other ways. Today, we got a commitment from the league regarding its employees.
In a memo sent to Major League Baseball staff this morning, commissioner Rob Manfred committed to paying league employees through at least May 31 and said senior staff at the league, including himself, will reduce their pay by an average of 35% for 2020.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 14, 2020
This is a good move by Manfred and the league although it comes with some questions. The optics of senior executives having their substantial salaries untouched while tons of employees getting completely laid off would not be great, so overall this is a good move. There are details worth finding out such as whether this applies to all league employees including seasonal ones or just year-round, full-time employees.
Passan’s reporting also highlights that MLB is still committed to the $170 million to be distributed to clubs to pay players for April and May. The league made no guarantees beyond that financially and given how hard it would be to start a season super late, it seems like we will know by the end of April or beginning of May whether or not the 2020 has much of a chance of happening.