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Dodgers’ David Price ‘vows to give club’s minor leaguers $1,000 each in June’ ahead of expected cuts

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price has reportedly vowed to pay each of his club’s MLB hopefuls $1,000 in June, which is a roughly $220,000 donation

While hundreds of minor league baseball players are preparing to be cut with the season on hold due to coronavirus, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price has privately  vowed to pay each of his club’s MLB hopefuls $1,000 in June, which is a roughly $220,000 donation.

Baseball author and journalist Francys Romero reported the decision on Thursday: ‘David Price will pay out of his money $1,000 during the month of June to each minor league player in Dodgers system (40-man roster not included) according to multiple sources.’

The donation has since been confirmed by a source with knowledge of the donation. 

Teams typically carry around 270 minor league players, but exact amount of the gift remains unclear because spring training was never completed and minor league rosters were never finalized. According to the source, Price can expect to help roughly 220 minor leaguers with his donation.   

The gift is not a payment or a substitute for their salary, which the Dodgers are currently paying through the month of June. 

MLB halted spring training in mid-March due to the pandemic, and plans to start the season remain uncertain. Among other issues, the teams and the players union are at odds over salaries for a potentially shortened season – an impasse that directly affects minor league players.

Teams typically carry around 270 minor league players, but exact amount of the gift remains unclear because spring training was never completed and minor league rosters were never finalized. Given that he won't be paying players on the 40-man roster — a group that includes everyone in the Dodgers system on a Major League contract — Price can expect to pay out $1,000 to around 250 players, or so

Teams typically carry around 270 minor league players, but exact amount of the gift remains unclear because spring training was never completed and minor league rosters were never finalized. Given that he won’t be paying players on the 40-man roster — a group that includes everyone in the Dodgers system on a Major League contract — Price can expect to pay out $1,000 to around 250 players, or so

A shot of the Oklahoma City Dodgers, many of whom will receive $1,000 from David Price

A shot of the Oklahoma City Dodgers, many of whom will receive $1,000 from David Price 

Price, who won a World Series with Red Sox in 2018, was traded to Los Angeles from Boston over the off-season, along with former American League MVP Mookie Betts. Price participated in spring training, but has yet to play a regular season game for the Dodgers.

The 34-year-old southpaw has earned over $184 million in his 13-year career, and was slated to make $16 million in 2020 before the coronavirus halted the season. 

Meanwhile the Dodgers are owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management, which includes billionaire Mark Walters among many wealthy investors. 

The act of generosity comes as ESPN is reporting that ‘hundreds’ of players were quietly released on Thursday, and many more are expected to follow.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the minor league baseball season, which is shorter than the MLB season, is widely expected to be canceled as MLB attempts to wrangle the financial damage from COVID-19.

‘Across baseball, hundreds of minor league players were cut today and lost their jobs, sources tell ESPN. Hundreds more will be released over the next week. In the end, upward of 1,000 players could see their baseball careers end. The minor leagues have simply been devastated,’ Passan wrote in the first of a string of tweets on Thursday.

The moves were not customary roster-trimming, as Passan pointed out.

‘In normal years, cuts happen but not en masse like this. The fallout from the coronavirus, expected minor league contraction and the anticipated cancellation of the 2020 minor league season prompted organizations each to release dozens of players, who were being paid $400 a week,’ he wrote.

Several teams informed minor-league players they would be paid beyond May 31.

The San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners have pledged to pay minor leaguers through August, while the Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles vowed to do so through June, and potentially longer.

The White Sox are even paying 25 players who were recently released.

MLB denied reports last month that 40 minor league teams would be eliminated in a massive restructuring of the system. But the ongoing fiscal challenges and escalating drama between MLB players and owners could impact minor-leaguers.

Major League Baseball made a record $10.7 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Forbes.

Even the Dodgers, one of baseball’s wealthiest teams, is struggling to save money. On Tuesday, that club and the Oakland Athletics announced their own cost-cutting moves.

The Dodgers announced that they are cutting employees’ salaries in an effort to avoid furloughs and ‘to preserve hundreds of jobs.’

The A’s, meanwhile, announced that they are furloughing front-office staffers and scouts, and they are cutting off salary payments for minor-league players effective June 1. The team had been paying minor-leaguers $400 per week, according to multiple media reports.

The A's announced that they are furloughing front-office staffers and scouts, and they are cutting off salary payments for minor-league players effective June 1. The team had been paying minor-leaguers $400 per week, according to multiple media reports. Oakland team owner John Fisher (pictured) wrote in a statement that the 'organization, like so many others across the country, has had to make tough and painful decisions'

The A’s announced that they are furloughing front-office staffers and scouts, and they are cutting off salary payments for minor-league players effective June 1. The team had been paying minor-leaguers $400 per week, according to multiple media reports. Oakland team owner John Fisher (pictured) wrote in a statement that the ‘organization, like so many others across the country, has had to make tough and painful decisions’

Oakland team owner John Fisher wrote in a statement posted on the team’s farm system Twitter account, ‘Baseball is more than a job — it is a way of life. People who work for our team are our family — our very foundation — and they work tirelessly to help the A’s compete in this most precious game. COVID-19 has brought a tragic loss of life and sickness to so many in our community, and it has impacted us all in ways we could have never imagined. Our organization, like so many others across the country, has had to make tough and painful decisions.’

A’s general manager David Forst wrote in an email to the organization’s minor-leaguers, ‘This was a difficult decision and it’s one that comes at a time when a number of our full-time employees are also finding themselves either furloughed or facing a reduction in salary for the remainder of the season. For all of this, I am sorry.’

While the Dodgers did not release financial specifics of their salary cuts, multiple media outlets reported that the team is making tiered pay reductions for everyone earning at least $75,000 per year, with the highest-salaried workers facing larger cuts.

The Dodgers said in a statement, ‘The Coronavirus has caused grave health issues as well as widespread financial hardships for many people and also for businesses. The virus also has created uncertainty regarding the 2020 MLB season. The entire Dodgers’ organization, including the great many people who work to bring you games and the experience of being in the park, face unprecedented challenges, as do so many others.

‘Over the last several weeks, we have considered every way to better withstand the challenges presented by the virus. Today — while we remain very hopeful that there will be a 2020 season — we are implementing a number of measures to reduce our costs. We remain ready to play as soon as that becomes feasible.

‘These measures include salary reductions for all (exempt) employees above a certain salary threshold, with higher paid employees taking a larger share of the reductions. This plan allows us to avoid organization-wide furloughs and to preserve hundreds of jobs.’

A's general manager David Forst (pictured) wrote in an email to the organization's minor-leaguers, 'This was a difficult decision and it's one that comes at a time when a number of our full-time employees are also finding themselves either furloughed or facing a reduction in salary for the remainder of the season. For all of this, I am sorry'

A’s general manager David Forst (pictured) wrote in an email to the organization’s minor-leaguers, ‘This was a difficult decision and it’s one that comes at a time when a number of our full-time employees are also finding themselves either furloughed or facing a reduction in salary for the remainder of the season. For all of this, I am sorry’

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