The Toronto Blue Jays will pay their full employees through at least October, according to a report posted on Twitter by The Athletic‘s John Lott on Friday night. The team’s announcement means no furloughs or layoffs are planned for full-time employees through the summer. The announcement came as other teams have said they may need to cut the number of employees currently working for them.
The news wasn’t all good. Instead of laying people off, the Blue Jays are cutting pay. The team said any employees “above a low-earning threshold,” will see their pay reduced. They added that the highest salary employees are getting the biggest reduction. The cuts appear to be the first wave of moves made to try and combat the loss of revenue suffered due to a delayed and likely shortened baseball regular season. The change in pay will be effected on June 15 and will last until at least October 1. On the flip side, the team said it will also be maintaining medical coverage and benefits for all the Blue Jays’ employees over the same time period.
Major League Baseball is attempting to get back to playing, mitigating any more severe cost-cutting measures by its teams. Negotiations have begun between owners and the Players Union on just how the season can start up again.
Among the ideas that have been floated in the last few weeks are playing all games in front of empty stadiums and limiting travel by playing all games in a handful of cities. While the country begins to reopen, baseball players are still voicing their displeasure at possibly playing in a dangerous situation. Among the biggest holdups for starting the 2020 season has been how much money players will receive.
The MLBPA already agreed to one reduction in salaries when the spring training was put on hold earlier this year. The owners have offered a revenue-sharing plan for the rest of the season but several prominent players objected when the plan was made public.
Others aren’t convinced that a plan to keep everyone safe and healthy will work in states like Florida and New York. While both sides continue to work through the issues, it’s unclear whether or not they will find a way to reach a final agreement. The uncertainty has led to many teams issuing month-by-month announcements as to whether or not they will pay staff or furlough certain positions. Toronto is apparently trying to ease minds by allowing those that work for them to know where they stand until the fall, at least.