Big league vets with minor league deals get up to $50,000

Sports

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Felix Hernandez warms up for a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Venice, Fla. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

NEW YORK (AP) — About 370 players who were at big league spring training with minor league contracts will get advance payments of up to $50,000 each from the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The money approved Friday by the union’s executive board will be in addition to $400 weekly allowances being paid to all minor leaguers through May 31 by the Major League Baseball.

Among the players eligible for payments from Friday’s allocation are Félix Hernández, Matt Kemp, Pablo Sandoval, Neil Walker, Derek Holland, Jerry Blevins, Edwin Jackson, Chris Iannetta, Brandon Morrow, Jonathan Lucroy and Trevor Cahill.

Players can receive $5,000 if they have at least one day or major league service. The amount increases to $7,500 for one year of service, $15,000 for two, $25,000 for three and $50,000 for six.

Any player may opt out of the money, which is being advanced against salaries. Players are eligible if they were at spring training on March 13, the day after play stopped.

Veteran big leaguers who go to spring training with minor league deals usually are trying to earn big league roster spots, agreements that leave teams with little financial exposure. Most players find out during the final week of spring training whether they will be added to a 40-man roster.

Players on 40-man rosters, 60-man injured lists and on outright assignments to the minor leagues with big league deals are covered by the March 26 agreement between MLB and the union. They each will receive $286,500, $60,000, $30,000 or $15,000, depending on their contract. That money comes from a $170 million advance fund paid by MLB over what was to have been the season’s first 60 days.

If games are played this year, that money would be offset against salaries. If the season is scrapped, players would keep the advances.

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