The 2020 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Visit our Handbook home page for more information!
Now is a great time to subscribe to the Blue Jays from Away Premium Content Section!
There is some news in Blue Jays Land as I’ve confirmed with multiple players that the Blue Jays have informed them that they will continue to be paid for June while other players got a phone call informing them that they were being released.
It’s not the commitment to their minor leaguers that a team like the Kansas City Royals have expressed (see below), but it’s a good start as the Jays continue to commit to paying their minor leaguers (especially after increasing their pay last year) for another month.
KC Royals are paying their minor leaguers for the whole year, And no releases. Here’s word from KC: “Haven’t had any (minors releases) and won’t through the the summer. !!!” Great organization with a heart!— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 29, 2020
It does keep the Jays’ young players who aren’t on the 40-man roster in limbo as they have secured some finances for another month but they will be wondering yet again at the end of June what the following months will hold for them.
MLB is currently in negotiations with the Players Union to get a deal done that will determine how major league players are paid in a shortened season. Those games will likely be played in stadiums without fans and the owners want to try to get started around the first of July. There is a belief that there will be a unique structure to the major league rosters with an additional taxi squad of 15-20 players available to major league teams, but the fact its that most writers and people in the game believe that regular minor league games will not be played. That leaves the minor league players in limbo until some of them are brought back into camp for a possible Fall League in Florida.
The other news is that teams began releasing a lot of minor leaguers at the end of May. While a lot of players typically get released at the end of spring training, that mass of releases were put on hold when spring training was suspended with, according to Baseball America, just 131 players released in a time that 301 players were released a year ago. It appears that teams are catching up as we head into June.
I’ve gotten word of releases although I haven’t been able to pin down numbers or a definitive list of players, although I have confirmed just one. The Blue Jays haven’t officially announced their releases yet and I’ll hold off on naming names until then.
I have a feeling that releases could be increased this year because teams are preparing for a smaller affiliated minor leagues in 2021. With the agreement between MLB and MiLB expiring at the end of this season, there was going to be a big fight for the MLB teams to get down to 120 affiliates and a leaner minor league system. With the COVID shut down of sports, the minor leagues do not appear to intend to contest the contraction. That means, along with a five-round draft in June, that there are going to be fewer players needed in each system. With some teams topping 300 players in their minor league systems, it’s likely that they’ll need just about 150 or so in the US (with another 40 or so in the Dominican Republic), setting the stage for a lot of players being out of a job come 2021.
For any of the Blue Jays minor leaguers who have been released if you’d like to get your story out, you can DM me on Twitter (@JaysfromAway).
If you like us here, like us on Facebook!
All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2020) and may not be used without permission.