Pirates anticipate paying minor-leaguers through season

Even though there has been no minor-league baseball to this point, and there almost certainly won't be one in 2020, the Pirates anticipate paying their minor-league players through the remainder of the season, a source tells DK Pittsburgh Sports.

As far as a guarantee, they have committed to paying them through at least the end of July. Players receive a $400 weekly stipend plus health benefits.

Initially, all 30 clubs agreed to pay their minor-leaguers that total through May as part of a league-wide initiative, but each organization was then allowed to make their own decisions with what they want to do from there. While most clubs extended that pay window, some chose not to, like the Athletics.

On May 30, the Pirates committed to paying their players through at least the end of June.

In March, Pirates team president Travis Williams told DK Pittsburgh Sports that the Pirates always planned to support their minor-league players before MLB established a league-wide initiative.

“It was important to us that we were supporting them, as well as others, in a time of need,” Williams said then.

Earlier this month, the Pirates cut 39 players from their farm system. While those players continued to receive health and pay benefits through the end of the month, that aid will end after June 30.

These "COVID cuts" were common across baseball. While some teams have committed to not making any cuts, like the Royals and Reds, most have, anticipating a roster crunch because of the expected contraction of 40 minor-league teams. One of the Pirates' affiliates, the rookie-level Bristol Pirates, would be among the franchises cut.

Before those cuts, the Pirates had over 300 minor-leaguers in their farm system, an above-average total.

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