The Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A's announced cost-cutting moves Tuesday in response to baseball's ongoing shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dodgers announced that they are cutting employees' salaries in an effort to avoid furloughs and "to preserve hundreds of jobs."
The A's, meanwhile, announced that they are furloughing front-office staffers and scouts, and they are cutting off salary payments for minor-league players effective June 1. The team had been paying minor-leaguers $400 per week, according to multiple media reports.
Oakland team owner John Fisher wrote in a statement posted on the team's farm system Twitter account, "Baseball is more than a job -- it is a way of life. People who work for our team are our family -- our very foundation -- and they work tirelessly to help the A's compete in this most precious game. COVID-19 has brought a tragic loss of life and sickness to so many in our community, and it has impacted us all in ways we could have never imagined. Our organization, like so many others across the country, has had to make tough and painful decisions."
A's general manager David Forst wrote in an email to the organization's minor-leaguers, "This was a difficult decision and it's one that comes at a time when a number of our full-time employees are also finding themselves either furloughed or facing a reduction in salary for the remainder of the season. For all of this, I am sorry."
While the Dodgers did not release financial specifics of their salary cuts, multiple media outlets reported that the team is making tiered pay reductions for everyone earning at least $75,000 per year, with the highest-salaried workers facing larger cuts.
The Dodgers said in a statement, "The Coronavirus has caused grave health issues as well as widespread financial hardships for many people and also for businesses. The virus also has created uncertainty regarding the 2020 MLB season. The entire Dodgers' organization, including the great many people who work to bring you games and the experience of being in the park, face unprecedented challenges, as do so many others.
"Over the last several weeks, we have considered every way to better withstand the challenges presented by the virus. Today -- while we remain very hopeful that there will be a 2020 season -- we are implementing a number of measures to reduce our costs. We remain ready to play as soon as that becomes feasible.
"These measures include salary reductions for all (exempt) employees above a certain salary threshold, with higher paid employees taking a larger share of the reductions. This plan allows us to avoid organization-wide furloughs and to preserve hundreds of jobs."
Major League Baseball halted spring training in mid-March due to the pandemic, and plans to start the season remain uncertain. Among other issues, the teams and the players union are at odds over salaries for a potentially shortened season.
--Field Level Media