With the rest of spring training canceled and the start of the baseball season on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, Major League Baseball is taking steps to ease some of the financial pressure on its minor leaguers.
MLB announced a league-wide initiative on Thursday that will pay minor leaguers what they would have earned through April 8, the original start date of the minor league season.
According to a news release, MLB also "intends to continue working with all 30 clubs to identify additional ways to support those players" because of the delayed start of the 2020 regular season.
St. Louis Cardinals minor league players leave the team's spring training clubhouse in Jupiter, Fla., on March 13 as operations were shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)
MLB teams have already pledged $1 million each to aid stadium workers throughout the major leagues who are losing wages because of games not being played.
However, the minor leaguers find themselves in a particularly difficult situation because they have to stay in shape and be ready to return to their clubs when notified. But because they're still under contract, they're not allowed to file unemployment claims while they're not working.
MLB's plan doesn't account for what will happen beyond April 8. However, league and team officials are continuing to discuss a plan to compensate minor leaguers from that point until the regular season begins.
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