PHOENIX — As Major League Baseball players and owners figure out if they can reach any kind of agreement for baseball to happen this year at all, the financial impact is reverberating throughout the sport.
Friday, the Diamondbacks furloughed or laid off more than 100 employees, north of 25% of their entire staff, while remaining employees will take a pay cut. The business side, rather than baseball operations, was hit the hardest.
“We care deeply about our employees which makes these decisions even more difficult. We have tried to minimize the impact as much as possible but these are truly unprecedented economic times and we recognize that this is affecting everyone in our organization and community," owner Ken Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall said in a statement. "We continue to hope and believe that we will play baseball in 2020, but it has become clear that this will be without fans, that the financial losses will be very significant and will undoubtedly carry into next season. Unfortunately, these changes were necessary in order to be in a position to recover when we are able to return to normal operations.”
According to Forbes, the Diamondbacks are the 20th most valuable team in MLB at $1.29 billion. Several low budget teams have already put employees on furlough, while the Oakland A's were the first team to say it would no longer pay minor league players after May 31. The D-backs have said they will pay minor leaguers through June, but they have also cut more far more players than any team recently.
The Minnesota Twins will not cut any of its minor league players, while the Kansas City Royals, the 2nd-least valuable franchise, has said it won't lay off or furlough any employees.