MLB cuts senior staff pay by 35%, pays all staff through May
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is cutting the salary of senior staff by an average of 35% for this year and is guaranteeing paychecks to its full-time employees of its central office through May.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Tuesday in a memorandum to staff, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. Manfred also said the commissioner’s office will make all planned distributions to teams through May.
“As part of our effort to protect the organization, my senior staff and I have decided to reduce our compensation by an average of 35% for 2020 to help the organization weather this terrible storm,” Manfred wrote in the memo, which described cost-cutting efforts.
“As a result of these developments, I am pleased to be in a position to ensure that all employees that received regular pay checks in April will continue to be paid through May 31,” he wrote. “I am deeply grateful to the owners for supporting my decision to continue to support all of our employees in an environment where the owners and the clubs are facing their own very difficult financial issues.”
MLB’s season was to have started March 26, and teams agreed to advance $170 million to players in salary for the first 60 days of the season. As part of the deal, players agreed to give up claims to the remainder of their roughly $4 billion in salary if no games are played,
MLB and the union have had only a preliminary discussion of potential ways for the season to start if given the go-ahead by federal, state and local governments and health officials. Having all teams based in the Phoenix area is among the contingency plans being examined,
“As you would expect, we are considering and analyzing a number of possibilities,” Manfred wrote. “Only one decision, however, has been made with respect to the 2020 season: Major League Baseball will return to the field only when public health officials agree that it is appropriate to play and when we are convinced that our return to the field is safe for players, employees and fans. Moreover, we will never, in an effort to begin play, divert resources that are more appropriately devoted to public health initiatives and health care.”
Manfred said his finance leaders have worked with department heads and have “cut programs, canceled events, delayed capital expenditures and renegotiated contracts with vendors.”
“The savings realized have been crucial to our ability to maintain normal operations in other areas,” he added.
Manfred called the distributions to teams “a vital part of our economic system.”
“Clubs rely on these distributions to meet local obligations and to support the financing vehicles that provide much needed liquidity,” he wrote. “We have informed the clubs that we will be making all of the scheduled distributions for April and May. These distributions will assist the Clubs in paying the salary advances that are being made to players under our recent agreement with the MLBPA.”
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