Sean Doolittle, Nationals players go to bat for minor leaguers facing pay cut

The world champion Nationals were about to create bad PR for themselves by reportedly cutting the June weekly stipends for their minor league players by 25 percent.

Sean Doolittle and his major league teammates jumped in to make the PR less bad.

Doolittle announced Sunday on Twitter that players on Washington’s big league roster would chip in and make up the difference. That will allow minor leaguers to keep receiving $400 per week rather than be cut to $300.

The Athletic reported Sunday that ownership had decided to implement the cuts after releasing upwards of 30 minor leaguers, who according to sources were told they wouldn’t be needed because there won’t be a minor league season.

Nats ownership is also cutting staff salaries by 10 to 25 percent through the end of either the year or the staffers’ contracts, The Athletic reported.

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MLB organizations began releasing hundreds of players in mid-May. Many of them would have been let go in March were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the season and prompting a transactions freeze during spring training. The 30 clubs agreed in late March to pay minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31.

The A’s, Doolittle’s former organization, have stopped paying minor leaguers altogether while also not allowing them to become free agents. Most other teams are extending their stipend payments through as late as the first week in September. The Royals and Twins have pledged to keep paying minor leaguers and not release anyone.

 

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