Tropicana Field
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Rays will open Tropicana Field for player workouts on Monday

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will open Tropicana Field to players on the 40-man roster for light workouts beginning on Monday. Players will only be allowed to play catch, run, do cardio, and do light weight work. They will not be allowed to throw off mounds, hit in the cages, or use the clubhouse and weight room.

Major League Baseball was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Monday will mark the Rays’ first team-sanctioned gathering since then. As Topkin notes, players will still be limited to small groups and have to adhere to social distancing protocol.

Florida is among the states gearing up for the return of professional sports. California, New York, and Texas recently gave the all-clear. Florida governor Ron DeSantis said on Monday that “getting sports back online is important for our nation’s mojo.”

On Tuesday, the Marlins opened opened their spring training facility in Jupiter for limited workouts. We’ll likely see more and more sites open up in the coming weeks.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.