MLB News and Notes: MLB Starts Cutting Minor Leaguers

It’s been a quiet few days for the baseball world, as the owners and the players appear to be far from an agreement with regard to the finances of a potential 2020 season. While we wait and hope for the two sides to get a deal done, let’s catch up on all of the other MLB news from the past few days.

Not a Minor Problem

With no guarantee of a season in 2020, MLB teams are continuing to feel the financial strain, leading to some of them releasing minor league players as a method to save money. The number of players released is in the hundreds and could top 1,000 when all is said and done.

While nothing is official, it’s increasingly likely that the minor league season will be canceled altogether, as minor league clubs rely almost exclusively on gate receipts for revenue. Amidst the ongoing pandemic, it’s highly unlikely that fans will be allowed into stadiums, leaving little reason to play games.

On the contrary, more than a dozen teams have pledged to continue paying minor league players at least through the end of June. A few have said they will pay players until the end of August, which is usually when the season ends for minor leaguers. Team officials have also noted that most of the players who have been released would have likely been released at the end of spring training anyway.

Helping Out

With minor leaguers unsure about their futures because of the pandemic, those in the Dodgers farm system are getting a little help. David Price, who was traded to the Dodgers in February, has pledged to give $1,000 to every minor leaguer in the team’s farm system in June.

The Dodgers are one of the teams that have promised to pay their minor league players through the end of June. However, more than 200 players who aren’t on the 40-man roster will receive an extra $1,000 from Price, who is in the midst of a contract worth $217 million, although his salary for 2020 will be much less than expected.

Fans in the Stands?

If there’s a 2020 MLB season, the Astros and Rangers could be two of the few teams with fans in the stands. Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that pro outdoor sporting events would be able to host fans at 25% capacity starting in June.

However, both the Astros and Rangers have stadiums with retractable roofs, which means they don’t fall under Abbott’s order. The teams could potentially appeal to have fans if the roof of the stadium is open. Of course, the season is in jeopardy, so the topic may be moot.

Second Chances

Power couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez failed in a bid to buy the New York Mets earlier this year, but they haven’t given up on that dream just yet. They are reportedly working with JPMorgan Chase on fundraising for a bid to buy the team.

Given the ongoing pandemic, the Wilpon family, the longtime majority owners of the Mets, are said to be more willing to relax some of their demands to sell the team.

Of course, a sale to Steve Cohen fell apart earlier this year because the Wilpons wanted to retain decision-making rights over the Mets for five more years. There’s no word on whether he’d back off on that demand in a sale to A-Rod and J-Lo.

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