Editor’s note: This story first appeared on AMNY.com.
While Major League Baseball continues to lose more regular-season games due to the coronavirus pandemic with each passing day, teams around the league are stepping up to protect their employees.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported that more than half the teams in MLB, approximately 18, have notified their employees that they will be paid through the month of May, including the Philadelphia Phillies.
Of the 12 teams that have not made such guarantees are big-market clubs such as the New York Yankees, Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Passan’s report comes on the very same day MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told teams in an email that “I fully anticipate baseball will return this season.”
Regardless, he made it known to players, personnel and their operations staff that he was preparing to suspend the Uniform Employee Contracts on May 1, meaning teams could stop paying employees covered by them.
Major League Baseball has been taking continuous financial losses due to the coronavirus.
On March 12, the remainder of spring training was canceled and Opening Day postponed, which has led to MLB losing considerable amounts of revenue due to the lack of ticket sales, concessions, broadcasting, licensing and sponsorships.
But teams have been taking extraordinary measures to ensure their employees receive pay during the COVID-19 outbreak. Most notably, Yankees legend and Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter forwent his $5 million salary indefinitely so team employees wouldn’t lose their jobs.
While a majority of MLB teams have ensured financial security for at least the next five weeks, the future of baseball this season still remains very much up in the air.
“[I]t is very difficult to predict with any accuracy the timeline for resumption of our season,” Manfred’s email read.
Reports over the last few weeks have revealed MLB mulling the idea of playing neutral-site games with no fans in attendance. Arizona was first tabbed as the favorite, housing all 30 MLB franchises, but a Monday report from CBS Sports disclosed that Arizona, Florida and Texas could be possible destinations.