“Chaos, absolute chaos.”
That was the only way one agent was able to describe the current situation going on in professional baseball. Meanwhile, multiple minor-league players bleakly described their situation as being “an afterthought” — this after being sent home with no information on what their timeline for return might be, and whether they would be paid.
As Major League Baseball attempts to deal with the fallout from cancelling spring training, and the delay of the start of the season due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, players across all levels are feeling the pain, as questions continue to mount. When will their next paycheck come? From where? What preparation needs to be taken for the delayed start of the season?
The recurring theme during conversations I’ve had with players across all levels of professional baseball — from the majors down to rookie ball — is the stark contrast between the amount of information being given to major league and 40-man roster players versus that being provided to minor leaguers. As one minor league player put it, “Minor league guys don’t know anything until it comes out on Twitter.”
Once the season was officially suspended by Major League Baseball, each club had different ways of dealing with their rostered versus non-rostered players. Across the league, players on the 40-man have been given three options: First, to stay at the complex and continue to receive their $1,100 weekly spring training stipend paid by the club, and retain access to the facility with minimal staff present; second, go to the club’s home city and continue to train at the ballpark, again with minimal staff, and receive their stipend of $1,100 per week paid by MLBPA; and third, return home and receive their weekly $1,100, also paid for by the union. Read the rest of this entry »