Chicago Cubs: Employees receiving pay cuts to avoid furloughs
In an effort to avoid layoffs and furloughs, the Chicago Cubs have issued pay cuts to non-playing employees, including first-year manager David Ross.
While progress has been made regarding health and safety protocol, there has been little movement on the financial side of talks between the MLBPA and the league. With the 2020 season hanging in the balance, teams – including the Chicago Cubs – are facing difficult decisions when it comes to paying employees.
Chicago decided to make salary reductions to non-playing employees, from manager David Ross on down. Ross’ staff, minor league managers and coaches, along with other non-playing personnel are all affected, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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That report says the percentage varies, with higher-paid employees receiving cuts to up 35 percent. Theo Epstein and business operations president Crane Kenney are at the high end of the pay spectrum and already had their salaries reduced before this move. ESPN’s Jeff Passan said in a tweet that employees are guaranteed employment through June with the hope that baseball will be back.
Money will likely be the biggest hold-up in whether there is a 2020 Major League Baseball season. Teams have already started taking measures like furloughs long before the Cubs did. The Pittsburgh Pirates are starting to furlough employees on June 1. The New York Post reports the New York Mets will cut the pay of full-time employees starting on June 1.
The St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox have announced they will not furlough any employees through the end of June, according to ESPN. On Friday, the Milwaukee Brewers announced they will all baseball-related employees through the end of the season and there will be no furloughs of any kind, due to pay cuts taken by top executives and Major League staff from the organization.
Bob Nightengale reported that MLB owners were presenting an economic proposal to players on Friday with two sides in a tense stand-off about the proposed season compensation. Greedy owners and compensation concerns are going to be a big talking point in the next CBA negotiations, with the current one set to expire after the 2021 season.
Coinicidentally, 2021 is when some current Cubs are set to be free agents, including Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. An extension with Bryant looks unlikely, the Cubs are reportedly working on a new deal with Baez, and Rizzo is entering the end of his prime years, who knows how the Cubs will proceed, since there is not a lot of first base help in the minor league system; and 42 minor league teams could possibly be eliminated as part of Major League Baseball’s Minor League system overhaul. None of the affiliates for the Cubs are on the chopping block, but the rookie league team for the Chicago White Sox is – the Great Falls Voyagers.
We all want baseball in 2020, but the chances are dwindling every day, and at this point, we need baseball because it provides jobs and income for so many. It’s a shame to see so many people out of work due to circumstances out of their control.