MLB teams pledge $30M to help cover lost wages for ballpark employees

All 30 Major League Baseball teams on Tuesday pledged $30 million total to help cover the lost wages of ballpark employees who have been affected by the postponement of the big league season due to the coronavirus crisis.

"Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

"The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities. The timing of these announcements will vary because of the need to coordinate with state and local laws as well as collective bargaining obligations in an effort to maximize the benefits realized by each group of employees. I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love."

With Opening Day originally scheduled for March 26, teams had filled out a majority of their game-day staff, from vendors to concession workers to janitorial staff to ticket takers -- many of whom are paid by the game.

The spread of the coronavirus first prompted the league to postpone Opening Day until April 9. On Monday, Manfred said games would start in mid-May at the earliest.

"Our gameday staff is part of our family and we want to make sure that we take care of them and support them during these challenging economic times," Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick said in a statement. "When times are tough, that is when organizations like ours need to step up and I'm proud of all 30 teams who are motivated by a desire to help others in our baseball community."

Others who previously pledged money to assist ballpark employees include Houston Astros center fielder George Springer ($100,000) and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, who has raised nearly $25,000 and organized a charity sandlot baseball game. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman also pledged to donate 1,000 quarantine food kits to Houston-area children.

MLB continues to negotiate with the MLB Players Association about potential payment to players, service-time considerations and other similar considerations that could largely depend on when the season resumes. The league's uniform player contract includes a provision that allows Manfred to suspend contracts -- and payment of them -- in the case of a national emergency, which President Trump has declared.

Also on the docket for the league: figuring out how to compensate minor league players, who received their last paycheck at the end of the 2019 season and were paid only a per diem during spring training.