Cubs president Theo Epstein said Friday some of Adbert Alzolay’s comments in since-deleted tweets were “inaccurate” stemming from a misunderstanding but added he supports players voicing their opinions.
Thursday, Alzolay tweeted about the conditions at the Cubs’ alternate training site in South Bend, stating the players only receive two packaged meals and $18 a day in meal money. He said after paying clubhouse dues, it’s really $10 a day.
Epstein clarified to reporters Friday players do not owe clubhouse dues and receive more meal money than Alzolay indicated. Those in South Bend also received apartments across the street from the facility free of cost through Summer Camp and will receive their salaries beginning July 23.
Players on the 40-man roster also received advanced salaries during the shutdown, per MLB's agreement with the players union in March. Alzolay received $30,000.
“The fact still remains that minor league players are underpaid and it's not an ideal situation for them,” Epstein said.
The Cubs have been at the forefront of improving conditions for minor leaguers. They increased their minor leaguers’ salaries starting this year (the circumstances of which change due to COVID-19). They lobbied the league with several other organizations to increase meal money at alternate sites this year to $50 a day, which will go into effect when the season starts (July 23).
Epstein added there’s a staff in South Bend working to meet the 11 players’ needs. They’ve created surveys for the players to express any concerns and in Alzolay’s case, “perhaps a different choice might have been to answer the survey or to seek out a staff member with that type of feedback.”
"But you know, social media is a big part of the way millennials communicate and that's a reality," Epstein said. "I'm not going to hold it against somebody. I'd rather I'd rather they communicate and feel comfortable in sharing their opinion even if it's not the forum that I would prefer.
“I'm confident that given all the things we're doing to take care of our players at the alternate sites that they’re well positioned, especially relative to the rest of the industry. That said, we can always do more."