Facing additional paycuts, players in the Washington Nationals’ farm system are set to receive an unexpected boost.
The Washington Post reported the Nationals planned to reduce pay for minor league players to $300 per week.
Veteran reliever Sean Doolittle announced via Twitter that the team’s current 25-man roster intends to commit funds to the players impacted by ownership making additional cuts.
“After hearing that Nationals minor league players are facing additional pay cuts, the current members of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball club will be coming together and committing funds to make whole the lost wages from their weekly stipends,” Doolittle said.
“All of us were minor leaguers at one point in our careers, and we know how important the weekly stipends are for them and their families during uncertain times. Minor leaguers are an essential part of our organization and they are bearing the heaviest burden of this situation as their season is likely to be canceled.
“We recognize that and want to stand with them and show our support.”
Doolittle said a Zoom call to discuss offsetting reduced pay for minor leaguers didn’t last long — it was quickly established that unanimous support to create the fund to fully pay those players was enough to move forward.
Major League Baseball announced players would earn $400 per week in April and May. After that, it was up to individual teams to figure out a financial model to follow during the coronavirus pandemic. The Oakland Athletics eliminated stipends entirely.
Other teams are offering reduced compensation.
The Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins plan to pay players in the farm system $400 per week through August, when the usual minor league season ends.