MINNEAPOLIS -- As several teams across Major League Baseball are deciding to stop paying their minor leaguers -- and in many cases releasing them -- the Twins have made a commitment to theirs.
A team source confirmed Friday that the Twins have pledged to continue $400 weekly stipends and to provide full benefits to all of their minor leaguers through Aug.?31 -- which nearly covers the entire originally scheduled minor league regular season. This comes amid uncertainty about the 2020 major or minor league seasons even being played.
Players and owners currently are negotiating a compensation agreement so an abbreviated major league season can be played -- a negotiation that has gotten off to a rocky start.
Minor league minimum salaries range from $290 per week at Class A to $502 per week at Class AAA over the five-month season. Players on the 40-man major league roster earn more. With no games being played, they are not getting paid. And even if the major leaguers return to play, there are no guarantees there will be a minor league season. So the stipend means a lot to them.
If Major League Baseball starts this season, rosters are likely to be expanded far past the usual 26-player limit, especially if there is no minor league play in 2020. The Twins used 51 players last season, so some minor leaguers would have a chance to earn their pay.
"We're going to need more than 30 allotted players or whatever it is come the start of the season," Derek Falvey, the Twins president of baseball operations, said Thursday. "We anticipate that. We're prepping for it.
"We're coming up with a two-pronged approach. One is an entirely internal approach, where maybe the direction at some point is each team is going to have their own control over how they are going to work their own depth camp, so to speak.
"... And then maybe the other one is how we pivot to something that is more league-oriented. ... What we can control right now is the planning among our internal group."
The Twins have minor league affiliates in Rochester, N.Y. (Class AAA); Pensacola, Fla. (AA); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (A); Fort Myers, Fla. (A and rookie league); Elizabethton, Tenn. (rookie level); and a rookie level team in the Dominican Republic.
If there's a major league season but no minor league season, there will be the need for extra players to somehow stay sharp while continuing to develop.