As everyone around the baseball world probably knows by now, the 2020 baseball season has not yet started due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic. This past week, the MLB started proposing a plan for the season to the players’ union. The plan would include 10-team divisions, an 82 game season, 14 playoff teams, and teams would play at their home stadiums without fans. The MLB’s main issue in the first meetings was realizing that they may not be able to acquire adequate testing for the season, but they soon realized they had a bigger problem though.
There will most likely not be any minor league baseball in 2020. If this season takes place, the MLB players will have to take pay cuts. Each player would most likely receive about half of their signed contract this season. Fans create more than 80% of the league’s revenue every year, which pays for the league’s high annual expenses. But without fans, the normal revenue won’t be close to what it normally is. So, the players will be forced to not play, or play at a discounted rate. MLB players are not on board with this yet, but I expect the MLBPA and the MLB to reach an agreement within the next couple of weeks. Though players like Bryce Harper would still earn millions of dollars this year, the players in the minors and on the edge of the majors will be struggling mightily.
Most don’t know this, but in the low levels of the minor leagues players only earn about $1,500 a month. With no pay in the offseason, that’s about 7.5K a year. Many players have to live in vans in the parking lot of the stadium, and others live in completely unfurnished apartments. Though in the higher levels of the minors the players earn around 11K a year, that’s still barely enough to live on. But if you cut the 11K in half, you get 5,500 dollars. Nobody can afford a place earning that a year. Most minor leaguers are already earning less than minimum wage, and this would take it to a whole new level.
So even though I think the MLB and MLBPA will come to an agreement, but I doubt the minor league season will take place this year. This could greatly impact many minor league players, especially in the Phils’ farm system. I’ll name a few, Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and Spencer Howard. All of those guys are almost ready for the majors, and a missed season would be a disaster. So, the Phillies have a decision on their hands, do they keep those guys in the minors for a missed season, or do they bring them up to the majors for the season, and risk that being too early? Let me know what you think here in the comments, or on my Instagram or Twitter accounts (both @philliesnews_).