By Sam Bush
After learning that the Nats organization is cutting minor leaguers’ weekly pay this month, Nats players have collectively pledged to cover the difference on their own.
The club, which by Major League Baseball mandate had been paying all minor leaguers $400 per week throughout April and May, will reduce that amount to $300 per week in June, a source familiar with the decision confirmed. The reductions come as the organization also released more than two dozen minor league players, a trend seen around the sport in the last week. (Many of those players, it should be noted, would have been released at the end of the spring training under normal circumstances.)
Within hours of the news yesterday, Nationals major leaguers held a group video conference and voted to cover the stipend reductions themselves, according to reliever Sean Doolittle.
“After hearing that Nationals minor league players are facing additional pay cuts, the current members of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball club will be coming together and committing funds to make whole the lost wages from their weekly stipends,” Doolittle said in a late-night tweet.
“All of us were minor leaguers at one point in our careers and we know how important the weekly stipends are for them and their families during these uncertain times. Minor leaguers are an essential part of our organization and they are bearing the heaviest burden of this situation as their season is likely to be cancelled. We recognize that and want to stand with them and show our support.”