Checking in on a few MLB teams…
- Athletics owner John J. Fisher made the widely panned decision last week to stop paying minor leaguers at the end of May. Industry sources told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle they’re of the belief that “the front office was tremendously disappointed” in A’s ownership’s call. It’s a choice that Slusser notes could have a negative effect on the A’s after next week’s five-round draft, as various minor leaguers and agents told Slusser the A’s would not be their No. 1 choice. However, as Slusser writes, Oakland still has a chance to land talent if it’s willing to pay enough, and if it presents the best opportunity to the player.
- With no season underway yet, the Phillies are in cost-cutting mode. Owner John Middleton told full-time employees in an email Monday that the team’s projecting losses of “substantially more than $100 million” in 2020, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. As a result, anyone in the team’s business department who’s on a $90K salary or above must take a pay cut. The Phillies will continue to provide health insurance, pension and 401(k) benefits to their full-time staff. However, because there may not be fans in the stands this year, the team’s facing “an enormous financial challenge” according to Middleton, who wrote that “approximately 40% of our total annual revenue is generated by attendance — tickets, food and merchandise concessions, parking and sponsorships.” Of course, the lack of fans is one of the reasons the owners have pushed for a far smaller schedule this year. They and the players have not been on the same wavelength in negotiations, though.
- Teams are expected to have a few extra rosters if there is a season in 2020. Between that and likely a lack of a minor league campaign, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News has been profiling Yankees pitching prospects who could get to the majors sooner than expected this year. Right-handers Deivi Garcia (link) and Clarke Schmidt (link) are among them. Garcia (No. 3) ranks a bit below Schmidt (No. 2) on Baseball America’s list of Yankees farmhands, and the scouts Ackert spoke with are optimistic they’ll turn into capable major league contributors.
- The Mets have reopened their spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to players for the first time since late March, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes. Four to six players, including catcher Wilson Ramos, have resumed training at the facility. It’s an encouraging sign that they’re getting back to work, though DiComo points out that the players must follow “MLB, CDC, and local and state safety protocols.”