The Oakland Athletics are placing their scouts and a significant number of other front office employees on furlough, suspending pay for minor leaguers and cutting the salaries of other executives as part of a cost-cutting move in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A’s owner John Fisher announced the moves Tuesday in a rare public statement on what he called a “tremendously difficult day.”
“Baseball is more than a job — it is a way of life,” Fisher wrote in a letter to fans and staff. “People who work for our team are our family — our very foundation — and they work tirelessly to help the A’s compete in this most precious game. COVID-19 has brought a tragic loss of life and sickness to so many in our community, and it has impacted us all in ways we could have never imagined. Our organization, like so many others across the country, has had to make tough and painful decisions.”
The furloughs for the scouts and other front office personnel will begin next week, although the team’s amateur scouts are expected to stay on through the draft on June 10-11.
Minor leaguers will stop receiving $400 weekly stipends next week.