The Phillies will pay their minor leaguers through at least June.
The Philadelphia Phillies have already stood out as being among the first teams in professional sports to make a long-term commitment to their full-time employees.
Now, they are doing the same for their minor-league players.
On Friday, NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Phillies have likewise committed to pay their minor-league players through at least the end of June; they earned $400 per week in April and May.
Any guarantee during these unprecedented times is rare, and so the Philles surely stepped up. Not all MLB teams have. And, hundreds of minor leaguers have been released in recent days, with the expectation being there will not be a 2020 MiLB season, not to mention the chances of a 2020 MLB season currently appearing unlikely.
The Seattle Mariners have let go more than 50 players, along with the New York Mets (39), Chicago Cubs (30) and Boston Red Sox (22), among many others.
Infielder T.J. Rivera is first reported Phillies minor-league cut.
The Phillies have made just one known cut, infielder T.J. Rivera, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The 31-year-old utility infielder, who signed a minor-league pact with an invitation to spring training this past offseason, has played with only the Mets in the majors, 2016 and 2017. That latter year, he slashed .290/.330/.430 with five home runs across 231 plate appearances.
Last season, he had a brief stint with the World champion Washington Nationals organization in the minors. Simply put, Rivera faced long odds to make the 2020 Phillies Opening Day roster, even under normal circumstances, as he was competing with fellow infielder hopefuls Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe and Phil Gosselin.
“Getting released sucks. But it also doesn’t have to be the end of the road. It means that you have to be head and shoulders better than the guys still in the system,” tweeted Phillies right-handed reliever Robert Stock. “But if you wanted to play MLB for awhile you were going to have to be that good anyway. Just have to get to work. Just to be clear, I did not get released! But I have been (3 times!) and am sharing the outlook I took with all the guys that did get released yesterday.”
Like the Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers have similarly committed to pay their minor leaguers through June, not to mention recently acquired ace David Price pledging an additional $1,000 to each minor leaguer in the organization who is not on the 40-man roster. Other teams who have committed to pay such players through June include the Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians, according to MLBTradeRumors.com, who adds, the Mariners, Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros will reportedly pay through August, while the Cincinnati Reds will pay through the first week of September.
The five-round MLB amateur draft is less than two weeks away (June 10-11). Teams appear to be making larger-than-normal roster adjustments to prepare, while also getting used to the “new norm” in the sport.