Major League Baseball players have committed $1 million to support minor leaguers who are unable to play this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The MLB Players Trust — a not-for-profit affiliate of the MLB Players Association — announced the pledge Wednesday.
While MLB and the players’ union continue to negotiate on a return-to-play plan, the minor leagues have yet to announce any plans to return to the field, leaving many young players with financial hardships and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Major League Baseball players are proud to support our fellow players in minor league baseball,” St. Louis Cardinals reliever Andrew Miller, a trustee of the MLB Players Trust, said in a statement. “These players have found themselves hit hard as a result of the pandemic and are unable to play the game we all love.
“The game is also their livelihood and there is no doubt the financial impact has been challenging. We hope to help them navigate these difficult times.”
During the pandemic, players with major league contracts received up to $286,500 each in salary advances from MLB, while players with minor league deals got $400 weekly allowances from the league through the end of May. Many teams have extended those allowances.
The MLB Players Trust distributes more than $1.5 million in annual grants and programs each year.