MLB extends support to minor leaguers through May

Major League Baseball is extending its financial support to minor league players through May while suspending their contracts because of the new coronavirus pandemic

Minor league contracts have a provision allowing them to be suspended "during any national emergency." MLB said Tuesday it had told the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, that it was unable to supply players to minor league affiliates because of the emergency.

Major and minor league seasons are on hold due to the new coronavirus. Weekly minimum salaries on full-season minor league teams range from $290 at Class A to $502 at Triple-A over the five-month season, meaning many players are making more during this hiatus than they do in-season.

The allowances are meant to help players cover costs for housing, food and training. Most players were instructed to leave their spring training complexes just over two weeks ago, sending them scrambling to make ends meet because they hadn't received a paycheck from teams since the end of the 2019 season. Exceptions were made for players from Venezuela and other high-risk areas, many of whom remained at the spring camps.

MLB's minor league initiative also does not cover players on the restricted, voluntary retired, disqualified or ineligible lists; and those already receiving housing or food from teams. In addition, each team will make arrangements for players on Dominican Summer League rosters.

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