Baseball-Staff Cuts

FILE - In this April 16, 2020 file photo, Wrigley Field's marquee displays Lakeview Pantry volunteer information in Chicago. The Chicago Cubs are instituting pay cuts because of the coronavirus crisis, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. A person with direct knowledge of the situation says the pay cuts were based on compensation. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and president of business operations Crane Kenney took the highest reductions. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday, May 21, 2020 on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, says 80% of associates are taking a pay cut of 20% or less. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are trimming payroll while they await word on the fate of the Major League Baseball season.

The Cubs are instituting pay cuts because of the coronavirus crisis, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced Thursday they are instituting furloughs for several employees in business operations beginning on June 1.

Chicago’s cuts were based on compensation, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and president of business operations Crane Kenney took the highest reductions.

The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, says 80% of associates are taking a pay cut of 20% or less.

The MLB season has been on hold since spring training was suspended March 12 because of the pandemic. The commissioner’s office and the players’ union are talking a deal to resume, and teams could take more drastic employment measures with administrative staff if the negotiations are unsuccessful.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins have informed their employees there won’t be any pays cuts or furloughs through the end of June.

Pirates president Travis Williams says the team also will be reducing pay for many of its remaining employees in business and baseball operations beginning next month.

The Pirates’ executive staff had already accepted voluntary pay cuts for the remainder of the calendar year.

“We care deeply about all of our employees and understand the impact this will have on them,” Williams said in a statement. “These decisions are very difficult, but are necessary for us to endure this crisis and emerge as strong as possible when we are able to resume normal operations. We look forward to welcoming our employees back to work at that time.”

Williams says the team will cover medical, dental and vision benefits for furloughed employees and their families, and help them with securing unemployment benefits. No baseball operations staff with the Pirates were furloughed.

The baseball players’ association gave management a wide-ranging response Thursday to a 67-page proposed set of protocols for a season to be played during the coronavirus pandemic.

Management had presented the union and the 30 teams the proposed draft last Friday.

The union said Thursday it addressed: protections for high-risk players, access to pre- and postgame therapies, testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel and sanitization procedures.Players viewed many of the concepts in the original draft as over-the-top, such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks, a prohibition on them leaving without team permission and a ban on guests other than immediate family members. Players also objected to a ban on the use of showers and hydrotherapy.

The union wants more frequent testing than management’s proposed “multiple times per week.”

MLB is expected to make an economic proposal to the union within a few days. MLB hopes to start the season by early July.