Major League Baseball committed to pay minor leaguers weekly allowances of $400 through the end of May, guaranteeing the most overlooked group in sports would be paid, at least a pittance, as the pandemic took hold.
With the end of May looming, MLB has left it up to its teams to decide what’s next.
For the Giants, that meant releasing 20 minor leaguers Thursday, a source confirmed to KNBR, but vowing to pay the remaining minor leaguers the $400 stipend through at least the end of June. While many teams’ intentions concerning their minor leaguers are not yet known, only the A’s thus far have taken the cruel step of deciding their prospects will no longer be paid.
Thursday was the beginning of a bloodbath around minor league baseball, ESPN reporting that hundreds were cut around the league for several reasons. Fewer minor leaguers are fewer stipends to continue paying; the June draft and ensuing mad dash for undrafted prospects will infuse more players into systems; the Professional Baseball Agreement is up at the end of September, and Major League Baseball has been committed to trimming teams as a way to consolidate and overhaul the player-development system. With dozens of fewer teams — including possibly the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the Giants’ short-season affiliate that was on the original list of teams to ax — there will be fewer spots for prospects.
Thus, the Giants joined the masses around the league in dealing a blow to 20 prospects’ dreams. It is unclear which prospects the Giants cut.