As the economic realities that accompany an industry in shutdown become more and more apparent for teams across Major League Baseball, the White Sox remain committed to paying their employees.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday that the White Sox are among the major league clubs committed to paying their employees full salaries and benefits through the end of June.
#WhiteSox another club keeping all employees with full salaries and benefits through 6/30, sources tell The Athletic. Some with CWS had hours adjusted because of changing workloads, but salaries stayed same. Others with no furloughs, pay cuts through 6/30: #MNTwins, #STLCards.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 21, 2020
Several teams have done the same, including the division-rival Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies, according to various reports.
Employees of other teams haven't been so fortunate, with certain clubs reportedly planning furloughs or pay cuts. On the North Side of town, the Cubs recently instituted pay cuts for their employees. More drastic measures have been taken elsewhere. The Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds have begun or will begin furloughing employees.
Many across the country can obviously relate, with tens of millions of Americans recently losing their jobs as the nation continues to battle dual public-health and economic crises.
Baseball hopes to be back in action soon, though. Major League Baseball and the players' union are discussion the league's proposal to start a shortened 2020 season that would see teams reporting for a second round of spring training in the middle of next month, with Opening Day following in the first few days of July. Who knows if the economic situation would force the White Sox and other clubs into tough decisions regarding their employees come July 1. But baseball could be back on that day or shortly thereafter.
As evidenced by teams faced with decisions whether to pay their employees or not, economics remain front and center in the conversations about the game being played in 2020. Players agreed to receive prorated salaries in a March agreement with the league, but team owners insist further concessions are needed with the expectation that games will take place without paying customers in the stands. The players have requested proof of supposed losses in the billions of dollars — despite the existence of lucrative TV contracts.
While certain teams take action with no money coming in, it's worth noting that 29 of the 30 major league clubs are valued at more than $1 billion, according to Forbes, with the Marlins the only outlier, valued at $980 million. For example, the Cubs, who recently instituted pay cuts, are the fourth highest-valued team in the league, at $3.2 billion. The White Sox, committed to paying their employees through June, are valued at $1.65 billion, the 14th most valuable franchise in the game.