Veteran MLB players will get nearly $5K per day during coronavirus shutdown, report says

The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of the 2020 MLB season indefinitely and forced a temporary restructuring of the game off the field. MLB and the players’ union (MLBPA) recently agreed to a framework of how to proceed with that restructuring when it comes to the draft, player salaries, service time, and so forth. 

Insofar as salaries are concerned, the two sides agreed to a $170 million advance provided by all 30 teams that would be spread out over two months during the shut down. On Tuesday, Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reported on the details of those payouts, which will cover the first 60 days of what would’ve been the regular season (March 26 through May 24, with the latter date to be adjusted should the season start before May 24). Here are the specifics: 

  • Veteran major leaguers will receive $4,775 per day, for a total of $286,500 over the 60-day span in question. 
  • As for those lower on the MLB rung, Blum writes: “Less veteran players receive smaller amounts specified in the agreement: $16,500, $30,000 or $60,000, depending on the contract.”
  • Players not yet eligible for arbitration — i.e., those with less than three years of major league service time, in most instances — will receive those lower payments. Broadly speaking, minor leaguers with some MLB experience will receive $500 a day, while players who have exhausted rookie status while still not being eligible for arbitration will receive $1,000 per day. 

For players with lucrative long-term contracts like Gerrit Cole of the Yankees, this of course constitutes a massive pay cut, but the advance payments won’t have to be returned in the even that the 2020 season is canceled altogether. 

Earlier on Tuesday, MLB announced a plan for extended financial support for minor leaguers during the coronavirus shutdown. 

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