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David Price pledges to donate $1,000 to each Dodgers minor league player in June

Dodgers pitcher David Price throws in spring training.
Pitcher David Price said he will donate $1,000 to more than 220 Dodgers minor leaguers in June to help make ends meet in the absence of a season.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

This week, the Dodgers committed to continue paying a $400 weekly stipend — the equivalent of a spring training per diem — to each of their minor league players through June, falling in line with most of their competitors across the major leagues to sustain some relief to the lowest-paid portion of affiliated baseball’s workforce.

David Price is also stepping up to help on his own.

The Dodgers pitcher acquired from the Boston Red Sox in February has pledged to donate $1,000 to each Dodgers minor leaguer in June. The aid will go to every player in the Dodgers’ farm system not on the 40-man roster — 221 in all, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Price, 34, has earned approximately $175 million in salary during his 11-year major league career, according to Baseball Reference. Price signed a seven-year, $217-million contract with the Boston Red Sox in December 2015 after beginning his professional career with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox traded him to the Dodgers, along with Mookie Betts, with two years remaining on his contract.

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Casey Wasserman, leader of the sports and entertainment division of an L.A. county task force, authored the plan along with all nine major pro sports teams.

Price was scheduled to make $32 million in 2020 before the coronavirus outbreak suspended the major league season. He is also slated to make $32 million in 2021 before becoming a free agent.

The negotiations between Major League Baseball and the Players Association have been contentious, but there is still hope for a 2020 season. Players would be paid less and the stands would be empty, but there’s hope that MLB will not have to cancel the entire campaign.

The same can’t be said for the minor leagues. The industry consensus is that minor league teams will remain shut down. As a result, minor league players, already paid meager salaries in normal circumstances, face tremendous financial uncertainty.

Not all teams have committed to paying their minor leaguers beyond May as the Dodgers and others have. The Oakland Athletics, for example, have decided to stop paying the stipends after May 31.


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