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MLBPA approves cash payments to non-roster invitees with service time

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An MLBPA sub-committee today approved payments to major leaguers who have at least 1 day of previous MLB service time, but who were non-roster invitees to spring training when play was suspended. The program, entitled the MLBPA Financial Assistance Program, fills a gap for those players who have past dues-paying union experience but who were not covered by the $170 million payment Major League Baseball is making to cover rostered players for April and May since they were, by definition, not on rosters.

Those covered will receive a payment of $5,000 for 0-1 year of service time, $7,500 for 1-2 years, $15,000 for 2-3 years, $25,000 for  3-6 years, and $50,000 for 6+ years of service time. Players can refuse to accept a payment if they choose. Which may happen, as some NRI players are veterans who have made a good bit of money in the past. Players who do want the payment can apply with the union. This program does not set aside the payment program which pays minor leaguers $400 a week through the end of May and, really, does not apply to most minor leaguers anyway.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.