The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have informed employees of impending furloughs.
According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the Angels began informing employees of furloughs. Heavily impacted were those on the minor league side of things (scouts, player development, minor league coaching, and coordinators), who would begin their furloughs starting June 1st. Also impacted were roles in the analytics departments and junior-level baseball operations.
News leaked last week that the Angels were considering such furloughs, and are thought to just be among the first to make such a decision. Other clubs are expected to follow suit as the game continues to be impacted by the coronavirus shutdown.
While the season is expected to begin in July, that will be without fans and still represent a large loss of revenues to each club. The Angels were estimated to be worth $1.975 billion earlier this year, even in the wake of COVID-19, but the team is expected to lose $110 million in revenues if the season were played without fans, according to the Associated Press. While that is 6th lowest among MLB franchises, it still leaves a heavy dent in the coffers that the team must now adjust to.
“We, like businesses throughout the United States, are making difficult decisions to protect our long-term stability,” Angels spokesperson Marie Garvey told Ardaya on Monday.
In their statement, the Angels also pledged $1 million to those furloughed through a grant program, and will also fund their health care benefits through the remainder of 2020.
Meanwhile, the move to heavy pare down the minor league operations of the team leaves another question that has seemingly gone unanswered. What will become of minor league baseball in 2020?
What do furloughs mean for Minor League Baseball?
With all of the plans being announced thus far, there has been little to glean in regards to if a MiLB season will occur or in what capacity it will function. As it stands, there has been discussion of a taxi squad, but the lack of a development plan for the next generation of players is concerning. Lost development time for the game’s top prospects will only hurt teams in the long-run, the Angels included.
Of course, none of this is of consequence when we talking about people losing their jobs. We wish nothing but the best for those impacted by these moves and hope they land on their feet quickly in these tough times.