PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have laid off or furloughed about one-quarter of the team’s employees because of lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The organization made the moves on Friday. Remaining staff will take pay cuts that average less than 15%, with the team’s highest earners losing a bigger percentage of their income. The D-backs will continue to pay their minor league players through at least the end of June.
The team’s baseball operations department was largely unaffected. Many of the jobs lost were on the business side, particularly in ticket sales.
“We care deeply about our employees which makes these decisions even more difficult. We have tried to minimize the impact as much as possible but these are truly unprecedented economic times and we recognize that this is affecting everyone in our organization and community," owner Ken Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall said in a statement.
“We continue to hope and believe that we will play baseball in 2020, but it has become clear that this will be without fans, that the financial losses will be very significant and will undoubtedly carry into next season. Unfortunately, these changes were necessary in order to be in a position to recover when we are able to return to normal operations.”
The MLB suspended spring training in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and pushed back Opening Day before suspending the season outright.
Talks to begin the MLB season have been moving slowly as the union and the owners have been at odds over player salaries for the proposed shortened season.