milb 2020 season cancelled
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Oakland A’s to stop paying their minor leaguers on June 1

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The Oakland Athletics have told their minor-league players that they will no longer receive their $400 weekly stipends after June 1.

Since minor leaguers are not paid during the offseason — and since we have been in an offseason since last fall — those $400 weekly stipends came as a result of all 30 teams agreeing to do it through May 31. Now, in the absence of a league-wide agreement to extend those payments beyond May 31, the A’s are choosing to stop. It’s unclear whether other organizations will stop paying minor leaguers as well or, if they are, when they will do so.

We do know that at least one team — the Miami Marlins — will not follow the A’s lead. Baseball America reported this morning that they will continue paying their minor leaguers $400 per week through August, which would have been the end of the minor league season. It’s worth noting that, while team financial information is hard to come by, most observers around the league believe that the Athletics have been profitable in recent years while the Marlins are probably the least profitable team in the league and may very well have lost money in recent campaigns.

Beyond just minor leaguers, Baseball America has a handy article up detailing what teams are doing with respect to employees as far as salaries, layoffs, and furloughs go.

As Major League Baseball the Major League Baseball Players Association continue to negotiate over a possible 2020 season, expect to hear more news like this.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.