Dayton Moore made more friends in baseball Friday with his passionate defense of the minor leagues and minor league players.
The Royals’ general manager announced the club would continue to pay players $ 400 weekly stipends through the end of August. Kansas City is one of seven MLB franchises that will pay players either throughout the scheduled minor league season or until a few days before its end. The Astros, Red Sox, Reds, Marlins, Twins, Padres and Mariners are the others, per MLB Trade Rumors.
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As notable, the Royals won’t release any of their roughly 200 minor leaguers (estimate per the Kansas City Star), which runs significantly against the trend in MLB. Only they and the Twins have reportedly made such a commitment. Franchises are paring their organization lists ahead of the June 10-12 MLB Draft and summer period to sign undrafted free agents.
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So Moore earned kudos inside the game for that, but it was his rationale for keeping players on the payroll that gave him hero status. Here’s how he put it to reporters on a conference call Friday:
In a conference call with local media members today, Royals GM Dayton Moore said this about the club’s decision to stand by their minor league players: pic.twitter.com/8ZfWWx95Jh
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) May 29, 2020
And that had several of his current and former Royals players singing his praises:
— Glendon Rusch (@GlendonRusch) May 30, 2020
The Royals’ new ownership gained goodwill, too, by pledging not to lay off or furlough anyone in the club’s 218-member baseball operations department (again, per the Kansas City Star) amid the coronavirus outbreak. Upper management agreed to take pay cuts to finance the continued employment, Moore told reporters.
Moore’s comments about players got more attention, however. The minor leagues are being squeezed by the effects of the coronavirus as well as pressure from MLB to shrink by about one-fourth and give up some control of club operations. That’s another reason people appreciated what Moore, who worked in player development before becoming a GM, said.