The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) has asked super-agent Scott Boras not to proceed with his initiative to pay the salaries of his minor-league clients who have been released, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Boras had been planning to pay the expected 2020 salaries of his minor-league clients who have been or will be released, Jon Heyman reported last week. Boras' plans may have been against union rules.
Instead, Rosenthal reports, Boras will donate those monies to VoteRider, a non-profit that promotes voting and voting access for U.S. citizens. Meantime, the MLBPA according to Rosenthal is looking into ways to help released minor leaguers. Only players on the 40-man roster are eligible for union membership, so such help would extend beyond the union's usual mandate.
A number of clubs have released hundreds upon hundreds of minor leaguers in recent days. Minor-league players already make paltry wages, and the loss of the $400 weekly stipend could be crippling given that economies are still at least partly shut down because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
, teams are shedding minor leaguers because there almost certainly will not be a minor-league season in 2020. As well, teams are looking for ways to cut costs right now, and there's of course a movement afoot to significantly contract the number of teams in the affiliated minor leagues.
Some teams -- the Royals, Twins, Astros, Reds, Red Sox, and Pirates -- have committed to continue payment to their minor-league players. Also, the Nationals and Athletics recently relented to pressure and restored full stipends for their minor leaguers. Most teams, however, have already begun cutting or have not yet committed to continuing to support their minor leaguers.