Houston Astros take a step further by the continuance of minor league pay

Houston Astros' owner Jim Crane (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Houston Astros' owner Jim Crane (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros have decided to take things a step further by extending the time they’ll be paying their minor leaguers through this pandemic. What’s up?

As the Houston Astros wait for the go-ahead for the season to start — or if there will be a season — teams are having make tough decisions with their massive payrolls that would normally be padded just fine if games were being played in their home stadiums.

But as the shutdown of sports goes into its third month, things appear to have more promise for a restart but as far the action happening, they’re nowhere closer than they were back in mid-March.

It’s all about an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA as far as how they’ll be receiving revenues that will be drastically reduced for 2020.  The 50/50 revenue split proposal is still on the table but it has been faced with roadblocks on both sides of the argument, rightfully voicing concerns on the fairness of the pay between larger and smaller markets.

But ultimately, MLB is losing $75 million a day and to try to curtail that number some, there will be sacrifices that will have to be made in order to get this lucrative and beloved business back up and running again.

This past week, I had hoped that both sides could come together but there’s obviously still quite a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out.  We can only hope that it’s done soon.

I can’t wait to see Jose Altuve, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Michael Brantley and others soon!

But back to the tough decisions that I was talking about, baseball teams are grappling with the budget crunch, causing them to put some sort of a limit on the stipends for their minor league players.

MLB has a policy set place where teams are required to provide stipends of about $400 a week through May 31.

There have been 16 teams that will continue to pay their players after this month and the Oakland Athletics are the only team that will not be able to continue that allowance after May 31.  It’s quite understandable with the A’s because they operate off a shoestring budget of sorts to begin with.

As things pertain to the Houston Astros, players in the system will continue to receive their benefit through Aug. 31 which takes it step further than what most teams are doing, which is

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extending pay just through the end of June.

This will affect the lower-level players — not our high-end draft picks under development — but every dollar helps.

Now teams will continue to release players — they’d be doing this anyway during the season — but those who are retained will still get their pay.

This is terrific news nonetheless that Jim Crane is committed to paying minor leaguers for just a bit longer.  And who knows?  By the time August rolls around, baseball may be back in full swing so there may not be any interruption of that stipend.

With all of the disparaging news in regard to the world fighting this pandemic — plus the team fighting their own battle of righteousness amid a sign-stealing scandal — this certainly makes them look very good.

Next. Astros: COVID-19: An arms race diffused. dark

Sometimes the most minute of efforts can go a long way in making a difference.

This is certainly some good news to make us all smile while we wait for the pause button to pressed again to start things back up.