NEW YORK — 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.
MLB announced March 19 that it was giving minor leaguers $400 weekly allowances through April 8, the day before the minor league season was scheduled to start. The commissioner’s office said Tuesday that minor leaguers will receive the allowances and health benefits through the earlier of May 31 or Opening Day.
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.
MLB reached an agreement last week with the Major League Baseball Players Association, which covers players in the minors who have big- league contracts. The teams are providing $170 million in advance salaries to that group.
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.