The Major League Baseball Players Association on Friday approved a program intended to provide supplemental income to non-roster players with prior Major League service time, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links) and Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links).
Under the newly implemented program, players with at least a day of MLB service time who were in Major League camp on a non-roster deal as of March 13 will be eligible to receive anywhere from $5,000 (less than one year of service) to $50,000 (six-plus years) depending on their level of prior experience. The program, entitled the MLBPA Financial Assistance Program, is aimed at previous big leaguers who were not covered under last week’s $170MM settlement that would be paid out in the event of a canceled season because they’re not currently on a 40-man roster. It’s an optional program, per both Rosenthal and Brown, meaning that those with ample financial security may choose not to opt in.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan adds a more detailed breakdown of the payout structure, reporting that players with at least one day of service time but less than a full year are eligible for the minimum $5K supplement. Players between one and two years of service could accrue $7500, while players with two to three years could earn $15K. Those with three-plus years of service but fewer than six are eligible for a $25K payout, and players with six-plus years of MLB service can claim the full $50K.
The new program is likely of particular import to players in the lowest bracket — e.g. Pittsburgh’s James Marvel (22 days of MLB service), Texas’ Ian Gibaut (41 days), etc. — but may not be utilized by more veteran players who’ve earned tens of millions of dollars in their careers. It does not replace the $400 weekly stipend that was afforded to minor leaguers through the end of May, the majority of whom won’t benefit from this new program by virtue of the fact that they’ve never been on a 40-man roster and thus never been under the union’s umbrella. As the New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweets, however, the MLBPA wanted to provide some extra cover for those who’ve previously paid union dues while spending time on a 40-man roster.