Oakland Athletics not committing to paying employees through May

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 08: A detailed view of a Oakland Athletics equipment bag and bat laying on the field during the American League Division Series Workout Day at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 8, 2012 in Oakland, California. The Detroit Tigers lead the Oakland Athletics 2 games to 0 in the ALDS. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 08: A detailed view of a Oakland Athletics equipment bag and bat laying on the field during the American League Division Series Workout Day at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 8, 2012 in Oakland, California. The Detroit Tigers lead the Oakland Athletics 2 games to 0 in the ALDS. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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All around Major League Baseball, teams are stepping up and committing to paying their employees through the end of May. The Oakland Athletics are not one of those teams…yet.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Major League Baseball finds itself in an indefinite holding pattern. Publicly, the league and their 30 teams have expressed optimism that the season, at least to some degree, will begin. However, eventually, teams will need to make difficult financial decisions, particularly amongst their employees.

Right now, 17 teams have committed to paying their baseball operations employees through the end of May. The Tigers have gone beyond that point, saying that they will not lay off any of their personnel. The Oakland Athletics, however, are not one of those teams.

Obviously, there is a long time between now and the end of May. And the A’s are hardly alone in failing to make that type of commitment to their employees; 12 other teams have yet to announce compensation plans as well.

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Likewise, teams may not have to pay their employees during that time. Major League Baseball is expected to announce plans to allow teams to either reduce the compensation for non-player personnel or to put those same employees on furlough.

For cost conscious teams like the A’s, that move would be a potential boon. While every team would greatly prefer to have the season begin, that hope may not become a reality. Teams will need to make difficult choices in the weeks and months ahead. Some of those decisions may already be in discussions.

It is certainly far too early to speculate as to what actions the A’s, and other franchises, may take. The organization may well join those 17 other teams and commit to paying their employees through May. But at a time when other companies are also making cuts to their payroll, some major league teams may need to follow suit.

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The Oakland Athletics have yet to commit to paying their non-player personnel through the end of May. But there is still plenty of time for that to change.

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