D-backs cut about quarter of staff with layoffs, furloughs

National Sports

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 28, 2020, file photo, a darkened Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of baseball’s National League, sits empty. Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday, May 11, 2020, to making a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisions expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

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,” owner Ken Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall said in a joint statement. “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.

“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 Arizona Republic first reported the job cuts.

The MLB season was suspended during spring training in March. The players’ union and owners are in discussions to possibly begin an abbreviated 82-game season in July, but likely without fans in attendance.

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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