After the Oakland Athletics announced last week that they after May 31, the club has reversed its original decision. On Friday, Oakland A's owner John Fisher told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the club will pay minor leaguers their weekly stipend through the end of the scheduled minor league season. Here's what Fisher said via the Chronicle:
"I changed my mind after spending a lot of time talking to our team," Fisher said, mentioning team president Dave Kaval, vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst in particular. "I concluded I'd made a mistake." ...
"I've listened to our fans and others, and there is no question that this is the right thing to do," Fisher said. "We clearly got this decision wrong. These players represent our future and we will immediately begin paying our minor-league players. I take responsibility and I'm making it right."
The A's will also set up an emergency assistance fund for the club's furloughed employees, Fisher told Slusser.
Minor-league players are not paid during spring training -- the $400 weekly stipend is equivalent to their spring training per diem -- so many have not received a paycheck since last season. And because they are still bound by their Uniform Player Contract, they are not able to collect unemployment benefits while baseball is on hiatus.
The 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals also . Their change of course came soon after Nats players committed to covering the stipend reductions on their own.
MLB and the MLBPA are currently negotiating the start of the 2020 season. , and the league does not intend to issue a counter offer. .