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Los Angeles Dodgers’ David Price Helps Fired Minor Leaguers

Photo by Gregory Bull/AP

Before stepping on the mound for the Dodgers, David Price may have had the best win of the year. Hundreds of minor league baseball players were cut Thursday and hundreds more are expected to lose their jobs in the coming days. The baseball shutdown has been tough on minor leaguers, who are only paid during the regular season. They are not paid during spring training or offseason. Thankfully, MLB stepped up and agreed to pay minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. But for many, that will now end.

The Athletics announced they will not be paying their minor leaguers after May 31. The Rangers, Padres, White Sox, Braves, Mariners, Marlins, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Mets, and Astros announced they will continue their players at least through the end of June. The Marlins, Padres, and Mariners will pay their minor leaguers through the end of August. In the end, however, upward of 1,000 players could see their baseball careers end.

But amid this bit of disappointing news, one major league player has stepped up and offered help. David Price will pay $1,000 of his own cash to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the organization’s 40-man roster in June, according to baseball writer Francys Romero. Price is among the players that could be earning a prorated salary due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under normal circumstances, he was going to earn $32 million. The gesture is definitely great and it comes at a time when baseball players and fans are longing for the sport that is in danger of not happening.

Price’s gesture also provides a striking difference to the negotiations between MLB owners and the players association, which have stalled the potential start of the 2020 season.

Price was traded to the Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox after the 2019 season. The 34-year-old pitcher Price was selected first overall in the 2007 Major League Baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and made his MLB debut in September 2008. He has also played for the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays as well as the Red Sox.

For more than a year, MLB has planned to contract about 25% of minor league teams before the 2021 season. Compounding that with a drastically shortened amateur draft, which will be just five rounds this year instead of the typical 40, and the delay of international free-agent signings until as late as Jan. 15,  the cupboard in the minor league systems could be as bare as it has been in years.

The minor league baseball season has not officially been canceled, though the suspension of the Professional Baseball Agreement that governs the minor leagues’ relationship with Major League Baseball means that the big league organizations no longer have to provide players to their minor league affiliates.

So in this time of mostly negative news coming from the world of baseball, David Price steps up with the noble gesture.

 

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