The San Francisco Giants unveiled some bad news on Friday, announcing that they were laying off about 10% of their staff, on the business and baseball operations side.
That results in roughly 50 people.
Here’s the statement from the team:
Yesterday was an extremely difficult day in our organization as we informed our employees that we are eliminating approximately 10 percent of full-time positions due to the unprecedented impact and continued uncertainty of the pandemic on our operations. These reductions include positions in both the business and baseball operations divisions. We are providing a number of employee support programs to those impacted employees, including severance, healthcare and outplacement assistance.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly reported that a large number of the layoffs are coming on the baseball development side, as the organization gears up for a season that will either see a strong reduction to Minor League Baseball, or a lack of it entirely.
Baggarly also noted that there are a few upcoming retirements that will not be filled, though he added that Brian Sabean is neither retiring nor being laid off, and will continue in his role as senior advisor to Farhan Zaidi.
Hearing that the Giants' cuts to baseball ops affected 10 percent of staff, similar to the overall percentage. A significant portion of the layoffs are in player development in anticipation of 2021 affiliate reduction. A few retirements that won't be backfilled as well.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) October 16, 2020
Baggarly also reported that the staff on the baseball operations side have contracts that run through the end of the year, at which point the contracts won’t be renewed.
One clarification: the people that the Giants laid off in baseball ops are under contract through December 31. Those impacted were informed that their contracts would not be renewed.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) October 16, 2020
There are, of course, two ways to look at this.
The first is that the Giants are a business, in a time when the coronavirus has created a recession, and they, like nearly every business, are looking for ways to cut costs and make their shareholders happy.
The second is that in 2019 Forbes valued the Giants at $3 billion, with an estimated $84 million in operating income. The Giants owner, Charles Johnson, has an estimated net worth of $4.6 billion. And they recently broke ground on a Mission Bay real estate project that will have the team needing to use the visitor’s clubhouse on days off just to fit all the money-printing machines.
I’m not going to tell you which side I land on but you can probably deduce it from my tone.