The abrupt end to spring training was a shock to big leaguers, but for the most part, they haven't had many concerns outside of finding a way to keep sharp and in shape while staying at home. It's a group that is extremely well off financially, and a recent agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association guaranteed that big leaguers will get paid a portion of their salaries even if the season is canceled.
There were a lot of concerns, though, when minor leaguers were sent home at the same time. Many of them go paycheck-to-paycheck and they had not been paid since last August, the end of the 2019 minor league season. On Tuesday, MLB took a step towards making sure minor leaguers are financially secure as the sport continues to be shut down by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
MLB announced that minor leaguers will be paid and receive medical benefits through May 31 or until the beginning of their season, whichever occurs first. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the players will be receiving $400 a week. The league had previously announced financial support through April 8, but it has become clear that professional baseball will not resume until late May at the very earliest.
The salary will be less than what most at the upper levels of the minors are used to, but still will be a huge boost for young players who were sent home with little direction about what to do next and when they might get their next paycheck. The Giants had decided in February to raise weekly salaries this season, with Triple-A players getting $750 and players at other levels also getting a modest bump.
On a conference call with reporters a couple weeks ago, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the organization already was providing financial support to minor leaguers that went above MLB's first proposal. The Giants have closed their minor league facility in Scottsdale but more than a dozen international signees remain in the area because they cannot fly home. The Giants are providing financial support, housing and meal assistance to those players.