The end of the month brought a bit of good news for most Giants minor leaguers, but a potentially career-ending blow for 20 of them.
The Giants have extended their stipend program for minor leaguers through at least June 30, continuing to guarantee them $400 per week. At the same time, 20 minor league players were released Thursday, continuing a trend around the game.
The releases were not a surprise and did not involve any elite prospects. The players being let go around the game right now -- some estimates are that it could be more than 1,000 minor leaguers -- generally are players who were filling out minor league rosters and had slim chances of soon reaching the big leagues. But this is still a rough time for those players, many of whom will see their dreams end this year as the sport deals with the fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
With the draft shortened to five rounds and more than 40 minor league clubs already on the chopping block entering the season, big changes are expected over the next year regarding minor league baseball. Teams generally release prospects at the end of the spring and again before signing a new class of draft picks, but this year's group is larger than past ones. Baseball-America did research that showed teams release 22-25 minor leaguers through May in typical years, with 30-35 still falling in a normal range. The Giants had previously released 17 players in March.
While there are some teams that have released significantly more prospects in recent days, others have committed to keeping all of their minor leaguers through the end of what would have been the minor league season. The Giants, by using June 30 as a date for extended pay, fall in line with most of the rest of the sport thus far, although they certainly have the resources to extend the program through August or even later at some point.
We keep updating this as we get more info. As of now.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) May 29, 2020
13: MLB Clubs paying MiLB players through at least June 30
6: Clubs paying MiLB players through Aug. 31
1: Club paying MiLB players through Sept. 7
1: Club not paying MiLB players after May 31https://t.co/3pR4QWLIof
The A's had previously informed minor leaguers that they will not pay players past May 31. When COVID-19 first shut down the sport, MLB announced stipends across the minors through that date.
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