The Detroit Tigers will indefinitely pay minor league players a weekly $400 stipend to offset any coronavirus pandemic cancellations and have yet to make individual cuts, a team spokesperson told the Free Press on Monday night.
The weekly stipend has no end date at this time, the spokesperson said.
Minor league clubs make most of their money through ticket sales, which hasn’t been possible during the COVID-19 outbreak. The season has yet to begin, and there’s a good chance minor league clubs not play at all this season.
In March, all 30 teams agreed to pay minor leaguers through May 31. When the deadline passed, only one team, the Oakland Athletics, announced it would end the weekly stipend given to minor league players.
Several teams reportedly will continue paying through the end of June, and some will be pay through the end of August. Even the 25 minor leaguers released by the Chicago White Sox will receive the weekly stipend. Hundreds of other minor-league players are expected to be cut this week, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The number of players released could exceed 1,000.
The Tigers’ decision to pay minor leaguers comes more than two months after chairman and CEO Chris Ilitch announced a $1 million fund to Comerica Park employees. Shortly after, the other 29 ownership groups followed suit.
“In this time of uncertainty, we are committed to standing with and supporting our dedicated and hardworking colleagues and providing them and their families the reassurance they deserve,” Ilitch said in March.
“Our sincere hope is that this provides comfort to our colleagues in this difficult time. When events resume, we look forward to our colleagues being safely back to work as normal.”
© 2020 The Detroit News