The New York Yankees, just like most of the teams in MLB, announced 45 minor league cuts on Monday. Players and fans alike were hoping that the Bombers wouldn’t have to make such a decision, but unfortunately, they proceeded with that plan and have taken heat for it.
Outfielder Alex Junior and infielder David Metzgar were among the cuts, according to NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. The latter said that he received a call from Yankees’ player development director Kevin Reese at around 9 a.m., and he refused to believe it.
The 26-year-old player didn’t hide his disappointment. â€œAll of a sudden we got cut. It was a shock.â€ Junior said that “it sort of came out of nowhere.”
The reported exceptions to the minor league cuts are, so far, the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals. Most of the remaining ballclubs made cuts en masse because of the uncertainty regarding the minor league season, which is looking more and more like a longshot for 2020.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he thought it was â€œreally, really important not to release one minor-league player during this time, a time we needed to stand behind them.â€ After those comments, Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankeesâ€™ vice president and director of amateur scouting for the Yankees, said via Twitter that Moore is â€œpure class.â€
What does the future hold for Yankees’ minor leaguers?
For now, the Yankees aren’t playing because MLB decided to halt its operations in mid-March due to concerns regarding the quick spread of the coronavirus, a pandemic that has taken thousands of lives and millions of jobs around the world.
For now, the New York Yankees said they will pay minor leaguers on the team their weekly $400 through the end of June. Some teams only paid their non-40-man-roster players until May 31.
The Yankees, even after the cuts, still have around 300 minor league players. The team will add a few more with the June 10 amateur draft.
Metzgar says, despite the situation, that he is not holding a grudge.
â€œAll of us that got released could say, â€˜You have all this money, why did you have to do it?â€ he said. â€œBut we also need to be realistic and understand thereâ€™s no room,â€ referencing the draft and further additions after it.