(CBSNewYork)- The New York Yankees are reportedly cutting down the number of players in their minor league system. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the team is releasing 45 players.
Yankees are releasing 45 players. As with all teams, some would have been released in spring training anyway.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 1, 2020
As Heyman notes, some of the players likely would have been released during the spring training period. The reason for the releases has not been stated. R.J. Anderson of CBSSports.com laid out three main potential reasons that teams would be engaging in cuts to their minor league system. From the article:
- “There likely won’t be a MiLB season- There’s little to no chance of a minor-league season taking place this year.
- The contraction issue- Commissioner Rob Manfred wants to overhaul the minors by contracting affiliates and reducing the amount of roster spots held by what teams consider to be non-prospects. At some point, that meant the players deemed excess would have to be cleared from the deck.
- A cost cutting move without the PR Hit- Earlier this week, the Oakland Athletics announced they would stop paying their minor-league players their weekly $400 stipends. They took a massive and rightful public relations backlash for it, too. With all teams grouping together to release players, they’ll be rid of their financial obligation to those players without taking a similar PR hit.””
For the Yankees, they have not announced whether or not they will be continuing to pay their minor leaguers the $400/week stipend that was instituted in April after the beginning of the season was postponed/cancelled due to the coronavirus. The Yankees committed to paying their minor league players through the end of May, but have not yet said if the practice will continue.