MLB umpires agree to take significant pay cut for 2020 season


With revenue losses expected in wake of a shortened season, one potentially without fans in attendance due to COVID-19, Major League Baseball umpires have agreed to a substantial pay cut for the 2020 season.

According to a source, the 76 umpires can make "almost 70 percent" of their original salaries if the abbreviated season allows for at least 100 days of service (including the second spring training). The percentages would drop from there. Umpires would get no additional salary from what was paid through April, if there is no season.

Retirement and benefit coverage continues regardless of if there's a season, according to a release by the umpire's union.

The deal also includes a cut on the umpire's road trip per diems, but "provides umpires and their families with financial security." 

"We are pleased we reached this agreement with the Commisioner's office," said umpire Bill Miller, president of the umpire's union. We love the great game of baseball. We look forward to being part of bringing it back to the fans as America and the world recover.

"We also recognize that many people, including baseball fans, are experiencing great economic hardship now. Our membership appreciates the opportunity to return to our jobs when it's time to play ball."

Umpire salaries range from $110,000 to $432,800, and all umpires receive a $38,500 postseason bonus. Those who work games receive additional bonuses.

This is one of several economic steps necessary before MLB can map out a schedule for the season. In late March, MLB and the players union agreed to a deal to pay players through May.

NBC Sports Chicago's Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to this report.

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