BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will continue paying their minor league players a $400 weekly stipend through at least June 30, a source confirmed Thursday.
Baltimore joins a number of organizations that have ensured pay for minor league players beyond the original set date of May 31. As of Thursday, the Oakland Athletics are the only team that will stop paying their players after this week, according to various reports.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are currently negotiating a deal centered on a potential 2020 season, with player compensation among the biggest sticking points. The players previously agreed to prorated salaries depending on the number of games played in a season, but the league offered a proposal this week that included further cuts of players' salaries based on a sliding scale, according to numerous reports including ESPN.
"There's no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions," Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer tweeted Wednesday night. "We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there's no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received."
But minor league players aren't represented by the MLBPA and don't have a spot at the table for the negotiations, with each organization able to make its own decision regarding compensation for those players. It's unclear whether there will be a minor league season in 2020, even if there is a major league season.
There are five minor league teams in Maryland, two of which are at particular risk of losing their affiliated status under a separate proposal from MLB.
With the Orioles amid a long-term rebuild, much of their organizational focus is on their minor league system. Of the club's top 16 prospects according to Baseball America, 11 are not on the Orioles' 40-man roster and thus are only eligible for the stipends.
A source also confirmed that the organization's staff will continue to be paid through mid-June, around the conclusion of the MLB draft, with no determination made beyond that point.
MASNsports.com first reported the Orioles will extend their minor league stipends.
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