The Oakland Athletics have reversed their decision and will pay their minor-league players.
The Oakland Athletics have committed to paying their minor-league players after all.
Following the announcement that the Los Angeles Angels would be paying their minor-league players a $400 monthly stipend through at least the end of June, the A’s were left as the only team in baseball refusing to pay their minor-leaguers past May.
But on Friday, they reversed their initial decision and admitted that they had made a mistake.
Team owner John Fisher had the following to say about the change of heart admitting fault on his part.
"“I’ve listened to our fans and others, and there is no question that this is the right thing to do. We clearly got this decision wrong. These players represent our future and we will immediately begin paying our minor league players. I take responsibility and I’m making it right.”"
This is an important step and it undoubtedly comes after the massive backlash that the organization faced in the wake of the announcement. The A’s estimated savings from the initial plan would have been around $1 million.
Given Fisher’s $2.2 billion net worth, that obviously drew the ire of many fans and others in the baseball world. But now, it seems as if the A’s have righted their previous wrong.
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Not only will the Athletics now join the rest of the MLB in paying their players at least through June, but they’re one of only a handful of organizations that have fully committed to paying them through the end of the minor-league season.
Per Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper, only eight other teams have committed to doing the same with the Cincinnati Reds the only club guaranteeing anything into the month of September.
The minor-league season typically ends around the first week of September meaning that the A’s likely join the Reds as one of just two teams paying their minor-leaguers into that month.
That’s quite the change of heart.
The Oakland Athletics did the right thing and then some.
The A’s will also resume payments immediately and institute back-payments for the past week. They are also one of only a few organizations that have not released any players over the past month, having not made a cut since March.
All of a sudden, the Oakland Athletics went from the worst example of financial greed in the MLB to arguably the most generous organization with one decision.
The financial loss may be significant, but the level of trust gained from players inside and outside the organization more than makes up for it.
We here at Golden Gate Sports applaud Fisher’s decision even if it took the backlash of the entire sports world for him to make it.