The Chicago White Sox are choosing to do the right thing.
Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf gets an awful lot of criticism, mostly for the frugality with which he has approached ownership of the White Sox and Chicago Bulls in recent years. Until this past offseason, the White Sox have been at or near the bottom of the league in payroll and free-agent spending. Similarly, until this year, the Bulls have chosen to skimp on front office spending, particularly in the area of their analytics department (or lack thereof).
In this regard, much of the criticism has been warranted. However, Reinsdorf and the organization are doing the right thing with their minor league baseball players as they continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Shortly after players were sent home from Spring Training, Major League Baseball announced it would continue to pay its minor leaguers $400 per week through the end of May. Now that the May 31st deadline is almost here, teams must decide how they will proceed. Will they do the right thing and take care of their players for a pittance, or will their greed rule the day?
The Chicago White Sox will continue to pay its minor leaguers.
Fortunately, the White Sox appear to be doing the right thing, announcing they will continue to pay their players, for the moment, through June. Hopefully, that decision will be revisited and extended if necessary. But for now, minor leaguers within the organization can at least count on continuing to receive that pay for another 30 days.
This seems like the obvious right decision, especially when you weigh the reputational cost associated with not doing it against the financial cost gained.
For example, consider Jeff Passan’s tweet highlighting just how little Oakland A’s owner John Fisher is “saving” by not paying his minor league players, a decision the team announced recently:
An owner worth $2 billion dollars chose to throw his own players under the bus for the equivalent of couch-cushion change for him. It’s an incredibly bad look for an owner who counts himself among a group who appears hell-bent on extracting as much money out of their players as possible while holding the 2020 season hostage in the process.
At least, in this one limited instance, for a limited period of time, Jerry Reinsdorf has committed to doing the right thing. Let’s just hope he continues to do so and doesn’t, like his peers, succumb to greed.