As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cast a shadow over the game, Major League Baseball has made a commitment to its employees regarding their near-future earnings. Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a memo today assuring league personnel of their salary through at least the end of May, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links).
As ever, this sort of news is both reassuring and worrisome. While it’s nice to see the league providing staffers with a clear commitment in an uncertain time, it’s also yet another acknowledgement of the ongoing uncertainty regarding the staging of professional sports contests.
MLB and its teams have obviously experienced a drastic reduction in revenue owing to the suspension of the 2020 season. Even if it’s re-launched, it’ll be far less lucrative than anticipated. And it is fair to wonder about expected earnings in coming campaigns as well.
In recognition of the economic realities, Manfred indicates that the league’s top executives have accepted pay cuts of approximately 35%. Presumably, the intention is for those reductions to be temporary.
The league’s belt-tightening effort will help enable it to carry on with the expected team distributions over the first two months of the season, Passan notes. Manfred explains that those funds will be utilized in part to pay out the previously negotiated player advances ($5.67MM per team). That’s all that players are entitled to in 2020 if the season ends up being cancelled.