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The Red Sox do not plan on furloughing or laying off any of their non-uniformed employees but are instituting significant pay cuts that reportedly aren’t being well-received within the organization.
Boston is cutting the pay of any team employee making more than $50,000, according to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, with the cuts going into effect at the beginning of June. The cuts are progressively tiered, with employees making $50,000 to $100,000 receiving 20% cuts, staffers making $100,000 to $500,000 receiving 25% cuts and anyone making over $500,000 having pay slashed 30%.
According to Drellich, Sox employees raised concern about the wide-ranging nature of the cuts. The club informed employees of the plans Friday night and was met with significant backlash.
“People are livid,” one employee told Drellich.
The cuts, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, only apply to amounts above a given tier. For example, an employee making $600,000 would receive $50,000 without any cuts, the next $50,000 (up to $100,000) with a 20% cut, the next $400,000 (up to $500,000) with a 25% cut and the final $100,000 (up to $600,000) being slashed 30%.
The cuts will stay in effect through the end of the calendar year. In exchange, the Red Sox have vowed to avoid furloughs or layoffs for business employees through the end of September.
With baseball season indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams are having to make tough decisions when it comes to compensating non-uniformed employees. All teams, including the Red Sox, committed to full pay for staffers through the end of May but many are now instituting furloughs and layoffs as the delay to the season continues.
The Angels, Athletics, Marlins and Rays have furloughed employees over the last week. Among the league’s biggest spenders, the Dodgers (up to 35 percent for those making more than $75,000) and Cubs (based on compensation) have announced pay cuts while the Yankees have not announced their plans. Some teams, like the Cardinals, Twins and White Sox, have guaranteed full salaries through the end of June.
Earlier Friday, the Red Sox made the decision to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through the end of August, when the minor league season would end. Previously, the club had guaranteed payments for those players only through May 31.
In March, all 30 major league teams committed to paying their minor leaguers $400 per week in April and May with baseball shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the calendar soon turning to June, teams can make their own decisions about whether they’ll compensate players and have taken a number of different paths so far. Notably, the Athletics recently informed their minor leaguers that they will not be paid after May 31 and other teams are likely to follow suit.
With the minor league season likely canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, teams are in uncharted territory when it comes to dealing with their minor league players.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are engaged in heated talks about how to get the major league season underway at some point in the coming months. The proposals the sides are considering are unlikely to include any sort of minor league play this season.
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