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Marlins downsize baseball operations department in latest wave of COVID-19 furloughs

Up to 100 baseball ops employees could be affected beginning June 1, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman is wealthy, but apparently not wealthy enough to keep all of his baseball ops employees on the payroll during the delayed MLB season.
David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Derek Jeter forfeited his CEO salary while several other Marlins executives took substantial pay cuts, but it wasn’t enough to keep the whole organization intact. In response to the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 90-100 of the employees in Miami’s baseball operations department are being furloughed next month, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

As previously reported by the Miami Herald, about one-third of the business operations department is also being furloughed in the coming days (phrased as “mid-May”).

The Herald’s Jordan McPherson clarifies that health insurance coverage will remain intact for these individuals through October. And the Marlins certainly aren’t alone in their frugality, with multiple other franchises planning their own baseball ops furloughs, according to Rosenthal.

Two weeks ago, the Marlins unveiled their Impacted Ticket Policy covering all home games that had been scheduled through the end of May. Fans who had purchased their tickets through the team directly were given the option of requesting refunds. Inevitably, that policy will need to be expanded to include June games as well, draining more dollars that ownership had been counting on.

The postponement of the 2021 World Baseball Classic by at least two years—first reported by ESPN Deportes on Monday—was undoubtedly another factor in downsizing the staff. Marlins Park was set to host and profit from the tournament’s most highly anticipated games.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association have been progressing towards an agreement to play an 82-game regular season in 2020. One of the main hurdles remaining is whether the players would receive pro-rated salaries or enter into a revenue share with the club owners. Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman and his partners have determined that, in either scenario, this cost-cutting step was necessary.

Unfortunately, the Marlins now find themselves at a disadvantage heading into next month’s unique amateur draft and undrafted free agent frenzy.