The Los Angeles Angels have informed non-playing employees of furloughs that will be implemented at the start of June and will affect nearly every department of the organization. Members of the front office, analytics department, scouting staff, and the vast majority of those involved with their minor league system -- including coaches, coordinators and player-development support staff -- will be impacted.
The Angels say they have not instituted any layoffs and will be paying for employees' health care through either the end of the year or the end of their contracts, the latter situation applying to Uniform Employee Contracts that were set to expire this October. The team also set up an assistance fund, which is currently at $1 million, in order to provide grants on a needs basis. Major league coaches have not been affected but some senior-level baseball-operations employees have also taken pay reductions, some of them up to 35 percent.
The Angels previously committed $1.2 million to cover more than 1,800 people who work at their stadium and were also among the many teams that were committed to paying baseball-operations employees through the end of May. But with zero revenue coming in for a sport that was still playing exhibition games when the coronavirus pandemic reached North America, teams throughout the industry are expected to begin issuing furloughs and pay reductions soon.
The question for the Angels, and other organizations that have found themselves in a similar predicament, is how many of the furloughed employees will ultimately return to their jobs. A lot of that will hinge on whether a season ultimately takes place. In a recent interview with CNN, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said owners could lose a combined $4 billion if the 2020 season gets canceled.
The Cincinnati Reds recently announced furloughs and pay reductions impacting less than 25 percent of their baseball-operations employees, and the Miami Marlins were reportedly expected to furlough up to 100 baseball-operations employees.
The Angels did not say how many of their baseball-operations employees are being impacted. In a statement, team spokesperson Marie Garvey said: "We, like businesses throughout the United States, are making difficult decisions to protect our long-term stability."