Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is suspending uniform employee contracts of more than 9,000 people, which will give teams the option to lay off or reduce pay of managers, coaches, trainers, full-time scouts and other personnel beginning on May 1.
However, at least eight teams have assured employees they will receive their salaries through May 31.
Manfred wrote an email to teams on Monday, saying the loss of games due to the coronavirus pandemic led to the action involving UEC’s.
“Our clubs rely heavily on revenue from tickets/concessions, broadcasting/media, licensing and sponsorships to pay salaries,” Manfred wrote in the email, which was obtained by multiple news agencies. “In the absence of games, these revenue streams will be lost or substantially reduced, and clubs will not have sufficient funds to meet their financial obligations.”
Major League Rule 3(i) requires that UECs are to be signed by “all managers, coaches, trainers and salaried scouts.” Some general managers and baseball operational staffers also sign UECs. Minor league managers, coaches and other personnel are also affected.
“Pursuant to the terms of the UEC, the club’s exclusive right to your services will remain in effect during the period of the suspension such that you will not be permitted to perform services for any other club,” Manfred wrote. “I fully recognize the hardship that this health crisis creates for all members of the baseball community. Central baseball and the clubs are doing everything possible to try to minimize this impact for as many employees as possible.”
Earlier Monday, Miami Marlins co-owner Derek Jeter said he was indefinitely giving up his salary, reported to be $5 million, during the coronavirus outbreak.
Jeter reportedly informed the Marlins’ baseball operations staff during a conference call on Monday that they will receive their current pay through at least May 31.
According to various media reports, other teams that are guaranteeing employees’ pay through the end of May include the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
—Field Level Media