Red Sox

Does Collin McHugh have to pay Red Sox in 2020 under odd contract situation?

Does Collin McHugh have to pay Red Sox in 2020 under odd contract situation?

Major League Baseball officially is back, but there are still plenty of details to iron out.

Just ask Collin McHugh, who under his current contract format technically would have to pay the Boston Red Sox to pitch for them in 2020, The Boston Globe's Alex Speier explained Tuesday.

Here's how that's possible, per Speier: McHugh signed a one-year, $600,000 guaranteed contract with Boston in early March. Later that month, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association came to an agreement that would pay MLB players with guaranteed deals a $286,500 advance on their 2020 salaries.

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Now that the season is set at 60 games, however, players are set to make just 37 percent of their original 2020 salaries. In McHugh's case, that's $222,222.

So, the 33-year-old right-hander already got paid more in his advance than he's supposed to make in 2020 -- which means he technically owes the Red Sox $64,278.

How's that for a raw deal?

McHugh isn't alone, of course: Any MLB player who signed a one-year guaranteed deal worth less than $774,000 technically owes their club money in 2020.

The regular season doesn't start until July 23 -- players are set to report to spring training July 1 -- and Speier noted MLB and the MLBPA could hash out this odd situation during that time to take McHugh and Co. off the hook.

But McHugh's situation highlights how much the coronavirus pandemic already has impacted player salaries -- not to mention the bottom lines of teams missing out on the revenue of 102 lost games.

How David Price opting out of 2020 season impacts Red Sox, MLB

How David Price opting out of 2020 season impacts Red Sox, MLB

We won't see David Price in Dodger blue this season, after all.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher announced Saturday via Twitter he won't play in Major League Baseball's shortened 2020 season, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dodgers said in a statement they fully support Price's decision.

A handful of other stars already have opted out of the 2020 season -- including Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond and Washington Nationals teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross -- but Price is the biggest star yet to back out.

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From a business perspective, Price's decision saves the Red Sox some cash: Boston no longer has to pay its $5.7 million share of Price's $11.5 million prorated salary for 2020 after trading him to Los Angeles this offseason, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.

The Red Sox were just under the luxury tax for their 2020 payroll prior to the pandemic, and while the 2020 luxury tax in the age of COVID-19 has yet to be determined, per Speier, taking Price off their books gives them some flexibility.

But Price's decision obviously is about much more than money. A handful of players already have tested positive for COVID-19 since teams began training camps July 1, and the 34-year-old veteran is one of several players who have legitimate safety concerns about playing the season.

Price was expected to be a key rotation member for the World Series favorite Dodgers, and his decision to step away might cause others to follow his lead.

MLB, MLBPA announce initial coronavirus testing results

MLB, MLBPA announce initial coronavirus testing results

MLB and the MLB Players Association announced the results of the league's initial round of coronavirus testing on Friday.

According to their joint statement, 31 players and seven staff members tested positive out of the 3,185 total individuals tested (1.2 positivity rate). Nineteen of 30 teams had positive cases.


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While the results are promising, it's important to note there still will be significant health and safety hurdles for the league to avoid a spread when the 60-game season begins later this month. A number of teams, including the Boston Red Sox, started workouts Friday at their home ballparks.

Sox manager Ron Roenicke said Friday the team has some positive COVID-19 cases. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez did not join the rest of the team for the first day of workouts as he was "around somebody who was sick" and awaiting the results of his own coronavirus test.