NEW YORK (AP) — Major leaguers have committed $1 million to support minor leaguers whose leagues appear unlikely to start this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Major League Baseball Players Trust, a not-for-profit affiliate of the Major League Baseball Players Association, made the announcement.
While MLB and the union are trying to reach an agreement to start the big league season in empty ballparks, minor leagues don’t have large broadcast contracts and have not announced any plans to take the field.
“The game is also their livelihood and there is no doubt the financial impact has been challenging,” said St. Louis reliever Andrew Miller, a trustee of the trust. “We hope to help them navigate these difficult times.”
Players with big league contracts received up to $286,500 each in salary advances from MLB, and players with minor league deals got $400 weekly allowances from MLB through May. Many teams have extended the allowances.
In addition, about 370 players with major league service who were at spring training with minor league contracts received advance payments of up to $50,000 each from the union.