Update: Since publishing this article, the names of the players released have been made public. That information has been added to the end of the article.
This has been a heartbreaking week for Minor League Baseball. With the 2020 Minor League season effectively canceled due to the coronavirus, MLB organizations have started to release Minor League players.
More than a thousand Minor League players — who are already paid below a living wage — will lose their jobs. While some teams, such as the Oakland A’s, are opting to stop paying all of the players in their farm, the San Francisco Giants have decided to release 20 Minor League players. Everyone else in the Giants system will continue to be paid at least through the end of June.
#SFGiants have released 20 minor-league players today and will pay all the other minor-leaguers the $400 weekly stipend through at lease June 30. They have not provided a list of players.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) May 29, 2020
While the team hasn’t released the names of the 20 players who were released, they were surely players who had next to no viable path to the Majors Leagues. And with MLB set to reduce the number of Minor League teams in 2021, they’re likely players who would have been released in a few months under normal circumstances.
Not that that’s any consolation, or justification. Releasing these 20 players before June will save the Giants roughly $32,000, which is less than a drop in the bucket for an organization that just broke ground on a $2.5 billion real estate project, even when the baseball stoppage is causing MLB teams to lose money.
One itty bitty piece of consolatory news is that the Giants are releasing the players, rather than refusing to pay them. As a result, the players can seek employment elsewhere, and also file for unemployment.
....SFGiants still firming their plans. One teeny consolation for players who are cut. They’re not in the “can’t work for other teams, can’t file for unemployment” bind #athletics prospects face. They’re losing stipend but still bound by Oakland contracts.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) May 28, 2020
It’s probably safe to say that Giants fans were hoping the team wouldn’t release any Minor League players, or any employees at all. Hopefully it won’t be any more than these 20.
Twitter user GPT — a trusted source in Giants prospecting — has shared the names of the players who have been released. It includes some non-roster camp invites.
Giants released:— GPT (@giantsprospects) May 29, 2020
OF:— GPT (@giantsprospects) May 29, 2020
Brandon Van Horn